Jennings Kelly and Tiffani Moses of Walker Valley High School both received $1,000 college scholarships in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments.
Part of a yearly initiative, local McDonald’s owners have donated more than $400,000 in scholarships in the last 10 years. The scholarship is presented to students in the Greater Chattanooga area based on their all-around excellence in areas of citizenship, leadership, scholarship and extracurricular activities.
“Getting this scholarship gets me one step closer to reaching my goal of graduating from college without debt,” Kelly said. “This is a difficult and lofty goal. I have applied for numerous outside scholarships and am lucky to have received this one.”
Students began the application process for the award in November. Five volunteer judges reviewed each application in relation to community service, school activities, work experience and leadership. The top 60 students were then invited for a personal interview before a panel. Once the 47 students were chosen by the selection committee, the RMHC board of directors ratified the award recipients.
“We had a number of extremely talented applicants this year, and the decision process wasn’t an easy one,” said Jane Kaylor, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga. “The scholarship banquet is something the RMHC Board and our local McDonald’s owners look forward to each year. It’s a wonderful way to recognize the accomplishments of the students in our community.”
In addition to the RMHC awards banquet, local McDonald’s owners also attend the awards ceremony at each of the recipients’ schools.
“As local business owners, it is important to us to give back to the community that has given so much to us,” said local McDonald’s owner Mark Smith. “Jennings and Tiffani have demonstrated the persistence, determination and hard work that will continue to help them succeed. Jennings, Tiffani and other award recipients are the future corporate, social and civic leaders, and their many achievements are a credit to their community, school and family.”
Kelly, who was involved with the theatre and drama department at Walker Valley and a member of the 4-H Club, plans to attend Maryville College in the fall to study English education with a minor in international studies focusing on French and theater.
Moses plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the fall.