By: Nancy Fisher
Thanks to fundraising efforts every year since 2001 the Albemarle Plantation Women’s Club has awarded scholarships to graduating Perquimans County High School (PCHS) women. Despite the ongoing pandemic that disrupted the usual process, in late March applications were submitted to the APWC Community Giving Committee for review. By teleconference the committee members selected seven deserving recipients from PCHS who are awarded $1,000 each.

Normally, the recipients would have been introduced and honored at the APWC meeting and lunch. Because of the current statewide restrictions on group events, this meeting and ceremony had to be cancelled. Therefore, the seven recipients submitted information so that AP residents could learn about these talented women. Following are highlights of their achievements, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future.

Claribel Ordaz-Rios has committed to UNC at Chapel Hill as an Honors Carolina student and proud to be a Tar Heel. She will be majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Spanish for the Professions. Claribel was ranked #1 in her class when her scholarship application was submitted. She is a member of the National Beta Club and the National Society of High School Scholars. She received the Virginian Pilot Scholastic Achievement Award and the Hertford Rotary Student of the Month award, and has been on COA’s President’s List since grade 11. She will receive an Associate of Arts degree from COA. She is a member of the Perquimans High School Soccer Team and an active participant in the school’s Lead Club. Currently, Claribel has taken over the role of home schooling her siblings, but, if you happen to visit Cedar Stretch Farm to pick some strawberries, you might find her working there.

Elizabeth Story has decided on UNC at Chapel Hill and will major in Biology and minor in Spanish before applying to dental school either at UNC or ECU. Elizabeth’s goal is to become a Doctor of Dental Surgery and partner with the Christian Dental Society or Global Dental Relief to provide free dental care for people in need. Elizabeth will graduate with high honors at Perquimans and also receive her Associate of Arts from COA. She is Vice President of the Interact Club, Secretary of Student Government Association, and Director of Fellowship of
Christian Athletes. She has observed dental professionals at Banks/Howell Dentistry, assisted Fountain of Life Missions in leading a children’s ministry in Ecuador, has been involved with the N.C. Senate Page program, volunteered with the Healthy Kids Running Series in Chesapeake, and has participated in Rotary Youth Leadership. You can find Elizabeth hard at work at Story’s Seafood even though there’s only takeout.

Atavia Mallory will attend UNC at Chapel Hill majoring in nursing, with her ultimate goal of becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. The late Dr. Martin Luther King has been very inspirational in Atavia’s dreams of giving back and helping others. She will receive both her diploma and an Associate of Arts degree from COA at graduation. She is currently the President of Lead Club and a member of the Beta Club, Interact Club, and Small Gestures Club. She has received the Presidential Award and the CRESIS Award, and is on both COA Dean’s List and President’s List.

Jenna O’Neal, also a dual-enrolled honor student at COA and PCHS, will attend UNC at Wilmington in the fall. Jenna’s field of study is TBD. She is the Co-President of both the Health Occupation Students of America and the Interact Club. Jenna serves as Secretary for the Student Government Association. She is president of the National Technical Honor Society and co-captain on the cheerleading squad. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She attended the 4-H leadership Conference in Raleigh in 2019 and a YMCA Leadership Camp in 2016 and 2017. Jenna participated in the Accelerant Christian Fire Conference in Gatlinburg and volunteered at a clothing closet and Vacation Bible School at Hertford United Methodist Church. Through Educational Tours she visited Germany, Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic to expand her knowledge of the Holocaust. Jenna is an elected member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi at COA. Need another reason to stop by Story’s Seafood? Jenna is a line cook there.

Madison Jennings will begin her studies at Elizabeth City State University to complete pre-requisite courses necessary to transfer to UNC in Asheville to pursue a doctorate in Pharmacy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She is a first-generation college student who recently completed the pharmacy tech program while also obtaining an Associate of Arts from COA. Madison has participated in Track and Cross Country at PCHS and is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success at COA. She has been on the Dean’s List and President’s List throughout her enrollment at COA. Madison hopes to work as a pharmacy tech to offset expenses for college. Currently she works part-time as a waitress and volunteers at the Family Care Pharmacy.

Abigail Sawyer plans to attend East Carolina University. She has earned a diploma from PCHS and COA with an Associate of Arts degree with all course work completed this spring. At ECU, Abigail will pursue a Master’s in English Education. Upon completion of her studies, she would like to re-turn to Hertford and teach at PCHS and ultimately become a college pro-fessor at COA. Abigail is currently working at Captain Bob’s and Carolina Builders in Hertford and is a team member at Chick-fil-A in Elizabeth City. She has volunteered at Chowan Animal Hospital and Meals on Wheels. Abigail has achieved academic excellence and placed first in the North East Region at the N.C. State Competition for Veterinary Science. Abigail was voted President of the PCHS Prom Commit-tee. Sadly, this is another event that had to be cancelled.

Katelyn Sharber has overcome many obstacles that many of us have never had to face, yet lives her life full of joy. She realized at an early age that life can change in a blink of an eye. Surrounded by a loving and supportive community, she has chosen East Carolina University and will be majoring in Nursing. She feels this career choice will allow her to give back to her community and help others in need. Katelyn has earned college credits from COA aiding her in achieving this goal. She is currently the treasurer of the Beta Club and the Interact Club. She is also a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a member of the Small Gestures Club. Katelyn is a leader of suicide awareness and has organized walks for the prevention of suicide. She has volunteered at Sentara Medical Center, Perquimans Recreation Center, the Food Bank, FCA, and PBIS, and worked at Kathy’s Creations in Elizabeth City.

Congratulations to these fine women on their selection as the APWC 2020 Scholarship Recipients. They will be officially graduating at a ceremony now planned for July 31st at Perquimans County High School. (Rain date is August 1st.)