HCF names 2023 scholars

From staff reports

Eleven outstanding Beaufort County seniors have been named Heritage Classic Foundation (HCF) Scholars for the 2022-2023 school year. The students come from seven different high schools and one is home-schooled.

Seniors in all Beaufort and Jasper County high schools were eligible to apply and applications were reviewed on the basis of academic success, community service, essays written by the student and financial need. Thirteen finalists were interviewed by the Scholar Committee, the two not selected were awarded a one-time $2,500 grant.

Six of the newly named Scholars will receive a $16,000 scholarship over the next four years. Four additional awards carry a $20,000 opportunity. Two of the latter scholarships honor Scholar Committee chairmen who have passed, John Zimmerman and Mike Malanick. One honors the late Scholar Committee member Charlie Brown, and the Tartan Club Award recognizes the donations made by the Tartan Club. Created by the Heritage Classic Foundation, the Tartan Club is a group made up of individuals throughout the community who share a desire to help others through the awarding of scholar grants for area students.

The Kirby Scholarship, a one-year $4,000 scholar award, was created in memoriam of past Scholar Committee chairman Ward Kirby and will be granted every year moving forward. Two additional students will receive a one-year $2,500 award.

Next fall, a total of 41 Beaufort County collegians will be attending school and will have received Foundation grants at an expenditure of $200,000. A grand total of $5M will have been awarded to 375 students after the 2023 distribution.

In addition to these eleven scholarships, the Foundation is funding four $2,500 annual scholarships to the University of South Carolina Beaufort and two $1,500 annual scholarships to the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

The Heritage Classic Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that hosts a PGA Tour event as a primary fundraising effort. For more information, call 843-671-2448, visit heritageclassicfoundation.com or find us on Facebook (Heritage Classic Foundation) and Twitter (@HCFGolf).

The 2023 Heritage Classic Foundation Scholars

Megan Alvarez, Beaufort High School – Charlie Brown Award Winner

Alvarez is a varsity cheerleader and lacrosse player and also volunteers at clinics for both sports. She reads to isolated senior citizens and is a Key Club leader, raising funds for CAPA. She also promotes sustainability by selling thrifted clothing. She is an aspiring physician and plans to study Biochemistry/Biology. 

Levi Bates, Home-schooled

Bates lives in Bluffton, where he teaches chess to other home-schooled youth and is a youth soccer referee. He is a member of the Boy Scouts and Junior Toastmasters. For ten years, he traveled extensively around the world with his missionary family and wants to make the world a better place by studying computer science and philosophy.

Ella Gordon, Battery Creek High School

Gordon is a member of many service clubs, including the National Honor Society and Interact Club. She created the Riverview Mentorship program to support social-emotional learning among youth. She plans on studying molecular biology and pursue a career improving treatment for those with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

Cynthia Gudaitis, Hilton Head Island High School – John Zimmerman Award

Gudaitisis No. 1 in her class and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate and a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist. She is also a track and cross country standout, holding the school record for the 3,200 meters and earning all-state and all-south honors. She is head coach of the St. Francis Middle School girls cross country team, leading them to their first ever district championship. She plays piano and volunteers with Volunteers in Medicine.

Laurel Hawkins, Hilton Head Island High School – Ward Kirby Award Winner

Hawkins is president of several clubs and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program candidate as well as an AP Scholar with Honor. She volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club and is president of Model UN. She taught children to ride horses at Driftwood Stables and is captain of her IEA riding team, earning a varsity letter in Equestrian Sport.

Kellen Kubec, Heritage Academy

Kubec is co-captain of Academic World Quest and founded the school’s chess club. He tutors younger students in math and helps his grandmother with chores. He is a member of the Hilton Head Island Crew team and is interested in studying economics and mathematics.

Benjamin Lewis, Hilton Head Island High School

Lewis is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate and a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist. He is the VP of the Interact Club and has helped with campus clean-ups and organized a Christmas coat drive. He is an after school math tutor, helping struggling classmates. He plans to study business in college.

Susan “Elizabeth” Livesay, Beaufort High School

Livesay organizes quarterly blood drives as president of Health Occupations Students of America. She is a member of the varsity tennis and lacrosse teams and is National Merit Semifinalist. She volunteers as a Sunday School teacher at her church and hopes to attend medical school to specialize in pediatrics.

Samantha Reilly, John Paul II Catholic School

Reilly has been a house captain since the 10th grade. She is captain of the state semifinalist varsity tennis team and captain of the varsity softball team. She acts in school plays and is on the robotics team. The U.S. Naval Academy selected her to attend a summer STEM program. She also volunteers at the Sandbox Children’s Museum where she works on STEM projects. She plans to study Aerospace Engineering.

Benjamin Steen, Beaufort Academy – Mike Malanick Award Winner

Steen is captain of the debate team and writes for the school newspaper. He volunteers at Help of Beaufort unloading and organizing canned goods and clothing. He also focuses much of his volunteer work each December on the Toys for Tots program. He plans to study journalism at Furman University.

Emma “Hayes” Wilkinson, Hilton Head Preparatory School – Tartan Club Award Winner

Wilkinson has performed in eight theater productions at Main Street Youth Theater and Hilton Head Prep as a high school student. She is a member of the Honor Council and Captain of the varsity volleyball team. She is chapter VP of Zonta International which raises funds for local nonprofits. Her goal is to study Psychology and become a Forensic Psychologist.

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