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HCEF’s Newest Scholarship Completes Successful First Year

Before becoming the first person to receive a scholarship from the brand new Grow Our Own Initiative to further diversity in the Henderson County education workforce, Josh Strickland said that emotionally speaking, he wasn’t in the greatest place.

“I was living in Charlotte, and attending another high school,” said the 2022 graduate of West Henderson High School.

His challenges were many. “I was hanging around the wrong people, letting their behavior affect mine and I wasn’t really into school, as I was barely passing my classes and unable to focus.”

Even through those challenges, Josh knew he wanted a change for himself, something better. Thanks to his grandparents and his faith, Josh realized that the path to that betterment began with a good education.

At West Henderson, he excelled. He played varsity basketball, did volunteer work with Word of God Ministries, and achieved a 4.5 GPA in the final semester of his senior year.

Upon hearing the news that he had been awarded the first ever Grow our Own Scholarship, he said. “I feel blessed; with this scholarship, I hope to use this as a resource to navigate through school in hopes of pursuing my future career.”

The Grow our Own Scholarship re-opened over the summer to current HCPS staff who want to further their education and seek a career as an educator/teacher, school counselor, or social worker and remain in Henderson County to serve our students.

Four scholarships were awarded:
Angeles Alarcon – pursuing a degree in school social work.
Chris Wilson – pursuing a degree in educational leadership. Chris aspires to be a principal.
Liliana Martinez-Salgado – Pursuing a degree in education. Liliana aspires to be an ESL teacher.
Johanna Bosch-Diaz – pursuing a degree in elementary education. She aspires to be an ESL teacher.

To learn more about how to support the Grow our Own Scholarship, contact HCEF Executive Director, Peggy Marshall.