6/8/2017 1:25:00 PM - by SMECO
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has awarded four scholarships to high school seniors for 2017. 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 100 students in the 25 years since beginning the program in 1993. Each of the following students will receive a $1,500 college scholarship.
Dawson Jewell, son of Kevin and Melissa Jewell of Charlotte Hall, is a graduate of La Plata High School. According to Kaitlyn Lavin, English teacher, “Dawson is an enthusiastic, intelligent, and positive student. Each day, he enters the classroom with a smile and an eagerness to learn. Although he is charismatic, he is also extremely introspective. Dawson considers all viewpoints and addresses multiple perspectives when completing assignments. He works well with all of his peers and he is always willing to lend a helping hand.” Jewell, who plans to obtain a degree in Criminal Justice, will be attending the College of Southern Maryland. Jewell has been active in sports, including football, track, and lacrosse. He has served as a volunteer firefighter and participated in the Navy Junior ROTC.
Daniel McCollum, son of Theresa McCollum of Mechanicsville, is a graduate of Great Mills High School. McCollum has served as a mentor in Oakville Elementary School’s Future Leaders of the World program, and he was the president and a founder of the Great Mills Debate Club. He plans to attend Christopher Newport University in Virginia to become a teacher. As he wrote in his scholarship application essay, “I simply want to change the world for the better. I want to help bring up the next generation of doctors, engineers, soldiers, lawyers, politicians, and everything else. I want to be a teacher.” Daniel Morris, an English teacher at Great Mills, describes McCollum as a student who would regularly engage in discussions of current events, literature, politics, and science, and whose questions and conversations revealed an ever-growing depth of understanding. Morris added, “I am confident that Daniel will excel in the future in whatever path he chooses to pursue.”
Kyshira Simmons, daughter of Quitasha Simmons of Brandywine, graduated from the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College. At the time of graduation from the Academy, students have met the requirements for a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Simmons is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the National Honor Society. She received recognition as Student of the Month and Scholar of the Week, and she was Employee of the Month at the Sonic Drive-In in Waldorf. She received Academic Excellence awards in U.S. history and in chemistry and an Outstanding Leader Award. Simmons plans to pursue a degree in Psychology at Towson University. Her teacher, Jason Ray, said, “I attribute her outstanding academic success to pure determination, raw intelligence, and her clear goal to graduate from our selective early college program with a strong enough record to matriculate into a well-regarded institution. She is serious about her progress in a way that is rare for students her age, and I am certain that she will bring this determination to her college courses.”
Malik Simpkins, son of Danyale Ury of Waldorf, graduated from North Point High School. He participated in the symphonic band, and for his academic achievements, he received an Academic Letter and an Academic Pin. He was a member of the National Honor Society and was listed on the Principal’s Honor roll. An active member of Winning Souls Evangelistic Church, Simpkins participates in the church’s outreach ministry, youth ministry, and hospitality team. He is a junior usher and a junior member of the Fellowship Society, which raises funds for scholarships. Doug DeCook, an engineering teacher, said, “Malik can be found helping his peers and putting in extra time practicing MatLab programming. He works well in an individual setting, but excels when working collaboratively, and his focus and good habits seem to rub off on his classmates. He serves as an engineering ambassador and talks to middle school students about entering North Point’s engineering program.” Simpkins plans to attend the University of Maryland to study computer engineering.
SMECO provides scholarships to local students who excel in their endeavors and who show promise in their chosen field of study.