The WYMT Mountain Classic Committee and the Knott drug abuse council presented the WYMT Whayne Supply Mountain Classic Scholarship Awards Night Thursday evening at Knott County Central High School.
More than 100,000 dollars in scholarships were given Thursday night. Throughout its 27 years, nearly 3 million in scholarships and funds have been given. The WYMT Wayne Supply Mountain Classic Scholarship Awards Night is far from smoke and mirrors - on the contrary - it has established itself as a beacon for catalytic change.
“I always get excited when I see young people receive scholarships and, you know, you have that little light in their eyes,” said Philip Haywood, Belfy High School’s football coach and the keynote speaker at the event.
Dozens of eastern Kentucky High School students were officially awarded scholarships Thursday evening, something that left the winners with a profound sense of gratitude.
“It means a lot because college is going to be expensive, and it means that i can have a little bit of help getting through,” said Danielle Pridemore, a senior at Pikeville High School.
“That was my first scholarship actually, and so it was fun beginning able to open it and seeing my name on it. I felt all important and so it was pretty cool,” said Roderia Rhodes, a senior at Cordia High School.
Perhaps the evening's keynote speaker said it best when attempting to summarize a valuable lesson he hopes these students take with them moving forward.
“It’s about our team, it's about our community, it's about all of us working together to succeed…each of us has been bestowed by our creator with certain gifts…but I think we're expect to use those gifts and talents to the best of our ability,” Haywood said.
It is a sentiment built on faith, community and the importance of investment in eastern Kentucky’s most valuable resource: the next generation.