Niswonger Foundation Selects Five New Scholars
NISWONGER FOUNDATION PRESS RELEASE
16 Gilland Street
P.O. Box 5112
Greeneville, Tennessee 37743
Phone (423) 798.7837 Fax (423) 636.0523
NISWONGER FOUNDATION SELECTS FIVE NEW SCHOLARS
The NISWONGER FOUNDATION, formed by businessman and philanthropist Scott M. Niswonger, has selected five high school seniors to join the Niswonger Scholars program. Currently, there are 20 Niswonger Scholars, with the new Scholars for 2012 bringing the total to 25. The Foundation also has 39 alumni of the program.
NISWONGER SCHOLARS are chosen primarily for their leadership potential and commitment to the betterment of themselves and their home communities. Niswonger Scholars are not limited to a particular college or area of study. They are required to participate in leadership development activities and encouraged to pursue internships and study abroad. Most importantly, they commit to return to Northeast Tennessee for at least one year of service in the career of their choice for each year they receive scholarship support. The hope is that by enabling these students to pursue their academic passions and by cultivating their leadership abilities, they will return to their homes to be leaders in their professions and a catalyst for future change.
The five new Northeast Tennessee Scholars are Gage Armstrong, Chuckey-Doak High School; Richard Vradenburgh, West Greene High School; Ivory Shelton, Unicoi County High School; Nathaniel “Trey” Dodson, Jefferson County High School; and Matthew Sheppard, Sullivan South High School.
GAGE ARMSTRONG is a student at Chuckey-Doak High School where he has maintained a 4.0 GPA and ranks first in his class. He serves as co-president of the National Honors Society at Chuckey-Doak, participates in varsity baseball, the Scholar’s Bowl team and Round Robin team. He is a member of Greene County Youth Council, Greene County Youth Leadership and has served as a Student Board Member of the Greene County Board of Education. He was appointed “Aide-de-Camp” during his visit to Nashville as a delegate of The Greene County Youth Leadership Program. Gage is the son of Michael and Laurie Armstrong of Afton.
NATHANIEL “TREY” DODSON is a student at Jefferson County High School. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA and ranks first in his class. He serves as captain of the varsity football team and as a member of the varsity track and basketball teams. He is president of the Patriot Events Council and is co-president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Board. He is a member of various clubs and organizations including the Key Club, Beta Club, and the Student Council. He participates in the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Program. Trey is the son of Mary Dodson of Jefferson City.
IVORY SHELTON is a student at Unicoi County High School with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and a ranking of first in her class. She serves as Student Council president, Beta Club parliamentarian and co-chairman of the UCHS Relay for Life. She was chosen by the faculty to receive the Female Underclassman Citizenship award and as Junior Marshall. Ivory was selected as a delegate to the Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE), inducted into the National Honors Society, and voted by her peers as “Most Likely to Succeed.” She is co-captain of the Varsity Basketball team. Ivory is the daughter of Roger and Brenda Shelton of Erwin.
MATTHEW SHEPPARD attends Sullivan South High School where he has maintained a 4.0 GPA and ranks first in his class. He serves as president of Student Council, Key Club president, DECA Club treasurer, and track team manager. Matt was recognized by the local Kiwanis Club as the 2011 Outstanding Key Clubber. He is a member of National Honors Society and various other clubs and organizations including DECA, in which he placed first in regional competition in the area of finance. He is a Tennessee/Virginia Scholar and participated in the Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE). He is involved with SHOUT, a community leadership program for selected high school students. Matt is the son of Gerald and Melanie Sheppard of Kingsport.
RICHARD VRADENBURGH attends West Greene High School where he maintains a 4.0 GPA and ranks first in his class. He serves as Student Council president, president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Chess Club president. Richard is captain of the Varsity Cross Country team. He is a member of various clubs and organizations including the National Honors Society and West Greene’s Round Robin team. He placed first in geometry competition at the 2010 Regional Mathematics Contest hosted by Tusculum College. He is a member of Greene County Youth Leadership and was voted “Best All-Around” by the senior class. Richard is the son of William Vradenburgh of Mohawk.
The Niswonger Foundation’s mission is “To create opportunities for individual and community growth through education and other sustainable projects.” The Foundation’s primary programs are the Scholarship and Leadership Program, and the School Partnership Program.