7 Beaufort County seniors named Heritage Foundation scholars

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comMarch 31, 2014 

The Heritage Classic Foundation presented $134,000 in scholarships Monday to seven Beaufort County high school seniors, the first awards given after the organization announced earlier this month it would cut its scholarship program nearly in half this year.

The winners and foundation members gathered for a lunch at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island in Shipyard Plantation to receive the awards.

Of the scholarships awarded to seniors, two are four-year scholarships worth $22,000 given in honor of two previous chairmen of the foundation's Scholar Committee, John Zimmerman and the late Mike Malanick. The winners are:

  • Olivia Durbin of Beaufort High School.
  • Foster Ritchie of Bluffton High School.
Five students received college scholarships worth $18,000 over four years. Those winners are:
    • Alina Fraley of Beaufort High School.
    • Kara Klein of Hilton Head Island High School.
    • Megan Webster of Hilton Head Island High School.
    • Jonah Miller of the Governor's School for Science and Math.
    • Christian Steinmetz of Hilton Head Preparatory School.
  • About half of the students know which school they will attend, the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and Georgia Tech among them. Others are still deciding or are waiting to hear back from their top choices, such as Vanderbilt University, the U.S. Naval Academy and Carnegie Mellon University.

    "These scholars are not just straight-A students; they are leaders in their schools, communities and churches," scholarship committee chairman Ward Kirby said. "They have interests that vary from technology to music to JROTC."

    Since the scholarship awards began in 1993, the foundation has given $3,403,850 to 266 students, including this year's winners.

    This year's scholarships will be funded with proceeds from the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, scheduled for April 14 to 20.

    During Monday's lunch, the foundation noted that although the amount awarded this year shrank from $278,000 given in recent years, it is adding six scholarships at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

    Recipients of those awards -- four scholarships totaling $10,000 at USCB and two scholarships totaling $3,000 at TCL -- will be decided by the colleges.

    The program's reduction comes after a $1.5 million grant for the scholarships from Verizon Wireless ended last year, Kirby said. The company is a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, which until 2011 was the title sponsor of the PGA Tour event at Harbour Town Golf Links.

    The foundation continues to seek grants that might allow it to award more scholarships in the future to both high school and college students, Kirby said.

    Follow reporter Sarah Bowman at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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