6/19/2018 4:15:00 PM - by SMECO
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has awarded four scholarships to high school seniors for 2018. Each year, SMECO awards four college scholarships to students who live in the Cooperative’s service area. Scholarships are based on the applicants’ scholastic achievement, financial need, and school and community involvement. SMECO has awarded scholarships to 104 students in the 26 years since beginning the program in 1993. Each of the following students will receive a $1,500 college scholarship: Ashli Chicks, Loryn Cottle, Jim Kong, and Nya Medley.
Ashli Chicks, graduate of North Point High School in Charles County, plans to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and to pursue a career as an orthodontist. She played the viola in the high school orchestra and was a member of the Hispanic National Honor Society. Chicks participated in Howard University’s Computer Information Systems Career Awareness Program, as well as community service organizations such as Mission Nutrition, to distribute food to families in need, and Out of the Darkness Walks, to raise money for suicide prevention. Natalie Wright, a North Point teacher, said, “Ashli connects well with other people and can understand a problem from many different dimensions. She is eloquent and persuasive and able to communicate her point strongly. She thrives in situations where she will learn from others.” Chicks is the daughter of Alicia Greene of White Plains, Maryland.
Loryn Cottle, daughter of Michael and Jennifer Cottle of La Plata, Maryland, graduated from La Plata High School in Charles County. Cottle plans to attend Brigham Young University in Utah. An accomplished athlete, Cottle played on the volleyball team and was a star player on the basketball team, winning the Most Outstanding Player Award for three years and honored as an All SMAC Team member. She also participated in multiple community, civic, and church organizations throughout high school. Cottle’s goal is to become a teacher. She says, “Because I have been blessed in my educational experiences, I want to be able to pay it forward. I want to teach students to learn to work hard, to be disciplined, and to be persistent in order to achieve their own goals.”
Jim Kong, graduate of Northern High School in Calvert County, plans to attend the University of Maryland in College Park to obtain a degree in in computer science. An accomplished pianist and violinist, Kong’s interests range from music to computer programming. He received multiple awards for academic achievement, including the Rene Descartes Award for Honors Precalculus, the Dwight Eisenhower Advanced Placement (AP) US History Award, and the Leonardo da Vinci AP World History Award. As a member of the Civil Air Control cadet program, Kong is the Cadet Commander of the Calvert Cadet Squadron. Commander Wes LaPre says, “Cadet Kong has grown into a fine young leader who exercises seasoned judgment and rational decision making beyond his years. He led a 45-cadet team which carried the Fort McHenry flag in the National Memorial Day parade in Washington, DC. His professionalism was recognized by the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force.” He is the son of Chong Kong of Owings, Maryland.
Nya Medley is the daughter of Joy Medley of Waldorf, Maryland, where she attended Thomas Stone High School in Charles County. She plans to attend Stevenson University in Maryland to study biology and pre-medicine. Medley played volleyball and softball; she participated in track, the Key Club, and the Student Government Association. Medley assisted with multiple civic events, such as food drives, clothing drives, roadside cleanup, and fundraisers. She was selected for the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indian Head sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. Stephen Meade, coordinator of the program, says, “Nya is a stellar performer. She was able to relate her science background in an engineering environment while working on chemical detection, penetration mechanics, robotics, rocketry, 3-D printing and lean six sigma activities. She is a truly impressive young scientist.” Her goal is to become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.
SMECO provides scholarships to local students who excel in their endeavors and who show promise in their chosen field of study.