Community Foundation Awards $164,000 in Scholarships

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The Outer Banks Community Foundation awarded $164,000 in scholarships this spring, helping students from across the Outer Banks achieve their educational dreams.

31 graduating seniors from Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Manteo High School, Currituck County High School, Ocracoke School, and First Flight High School received scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. Of these students,15 received awards that are renewable for up to four years of college.

In addition to these awards, the Community Foundation has also renewed financial support to 22 current college students who earned multi-year scholarships.

The R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship, in the amount of $8,600, was awarded to Hatteras Island Secondary School senior Jadon Midgett. Stewart Couch established this scholarship for Hatteras Island students through a generous bequest in his last will and testament. Contributions raised by the Outer Banks Association of Realtors in Stewart’s memory were added to his bequest to make this the Community Foundation’s most generous single-year award. The scholarship is given each year to one graduating high school senior from Hatteras Island, the “diamond in the rough” who just needs a little help to achieve his or her educational dreams.

“Throughout High School, I have always done my best to keep a strong academic record and maintain involvement in as many extracurricular activities as possible. Now it seems that all of this work is finally beginning to pay off,” wrote Jadon. “As the son of a lineman and the grandson of a commercial fisherman, I come from a blue-collar family and am a first-generation college student… this scholarship will certainly be a big help.”

First Flight High School graduating senior Sara Rae (Simone) Midgett was awarded the $6,000 Jerry and Arlene Davis Scholarship, which is renewable for up to four years, with a total value of $24,000. This need-based scholarship targets Manteo and First Flight High School students who worked throughout high school and who plan to continue to work through college. The intent of this scholarship is to help students achieve educational dreams that might not otherwise be possible. Simone also received a $1,000 Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship.

“I worked hard to become captain of the lacrosse team and Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper,” wrote Simone in her application essay. “I worked hard to be elected student government secretary and president of Teen Democrats. I worked hard for all of these things because I knew they could help me reach my goal: to go to college. For me, having the opportunity to go to college allows me to beat the odds. I would be the first person in my family to go to college and graduate.”

The Milton A. Jewell Academic Scholarship, a four-year, $24,000 award, went to Judith “Judy” Rose Williams of First Flight High School.

Judy wrote, “My goal is to become a pediatric surgeon and travel the world, giving patients the healthcare they deserve. One day, I hope to move to a Third World country and open a clinic with an attached orphanage or youth center. I not only want to give children physical support, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual support. I am determined to give them the opportunity to live out their passions, just as I intend to live out mine.”

The Community Foundation also announced three new scholarship programs this year. Two scholarships were created by Millie Roughton, in memory of her late husband, local entrepreneur, and Bear Pharmacy founder Billy Roughton. The Billy G. Roughton Memorial Scholarship for Medical Professions provides financial assistance to students from Dare or Currituck Counties with strong academic records who are pursuing a field of study in an allied, clinical health profession; the Billy G. Roughton Memorial Scholarship for Tourism and Hospitality will award scholarships to learners with strong academic records who are pursuing certification in tourism and/or hospitality. The Karen Phillips Scholarship, also established in 2019, will be awarded to a Dare County student who plans to pursue studies in a medical field. The first scholarships from these three new funds will be awarded in the fall of 2020 by Community Foundation scholarship partners College of the Albemarle and Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.

Scholarship funds have been generously donated by individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits, civic groups, and government agencies to help local students pursue higher education. Any community member can establish a scholarship fund with the Community Foundation by calling Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839, or donate to an existing fund online at