The awards were based on the students' academic and extracurricular accomplishments and their potential for a successful future. Each applicant was screened by a committee at his or her school, and then selected by members of the board of directors, which including men and women involved in education and/or community service.
"(These students) are taking our expectations for excellence and turning them into reality," said Harlan County Schools superintendent Tim Saylor, the featured speaker at the event. "This shows what is right about our public school system."
Donell Busroe, one of the first recipients of the scholarship, spoke during the event. James Forrester, pastor of the Poor Fork Church of Christ, delivered the invocation.
Winners of the $1,250 Harlan County Community Scholarships were: Markki LeAnn Sherman, daughter of Wes and Pam Sheffield, Cumberland High School; Joshua Cole, son of William and Lisa Cole, Evarts High School; James Croushorn, son of Earl and Susan Croushorn, Harlan High School; and Emily Balenovich, daughter of Bob and Libby Balenovich, James A. Cawood High School.
Winners of the $625 Harlan County Soil Conservation Scholarships were: James Andrew Allison, son of Jimmy Allison and Robin Parsons; and Jessica Leanne Creech, daughter of Troy and Yvonne Creech; Cumberland High School; Andrea Enix, daughter of Eugene and Tracy Enix; and Sarah Pryor, daughter of Raymond and Kathy Pryor, Evarts High School; Jon Brown, son of Darrell and Rose Brown; and Seth Haywood, son of Allen and Peggy Howard; Harlan High School; Brian Lee Jones, son of Truman and Carol Jones; and John Stepp, son of Herbert and Mary Jenkins; James A. Cawood High School.
Shelley Jones, daughter of David and Lynn Jones, was the winner of the $1,000 Cumberland Lions Club Scholarship.
Benjamin Thomas, son of Michael and Darlene Thomas, was the winner of the $1,000 J. Clark Metcalfe Memorial Scholarship.
Stephanie Lynn Kelly, daughter of Wayne and Betty Kelly, was the winner of the $1,000 Susan Moody Memorial Scholarship.
Whitney Hensley, daughter of Gary and Joyce Hensley, was the winner of the $1,000 Tri-Cities Woman's Club Scholarship.
Tiffany Irvin, daughter of Serena Irvin, and Benjamin Thomas, son of Michael and Darlene Thomas, were winners of $1,000 Wal-Mart Scholarships.
Jessica Rice, daughter of Timothy and Cheryl Rice, were winners of the $500 Zeta Beta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Scholarship.