2018 Shoals Scholar Dollars Student of the Year
- FLORENCE HIGH SCHOOL
Trevor Simpson wins Student of the Year honor
- By Lisa Singleton-Rickman Staff Writer
FLORENCE — Trevor Simpson took a few seconds to compose himself before he ever said a word after taking the podium Thursday night having just learned he is this year's Shoals Scholar Dollars Student of the Year.
The banquet honoring Simpson, of Florence High School, and his 16 counterparts from other Shoals area high schools was a packed house at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center.
"First of all, without God I wouldn't even be here right now," he said. "I will, without a doubt, now be able to attend college and will be that much closer to realizing my dreams of becoming a physician."
Simpson will attend Northwest-Shoals Community College for two years and then the University of North Alabama.
As this year's winner he not only receives scholarships to the two schools, but $1,000 in cash, a prize package from local businesses and a one-night stay at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and spa with dinner for two.
Deborah Bell Paseur, the chairwoman of the Shoals Scholar Dollars committee, commended the student finalists for their contributions to the program.
"I hope you all realize what a huge role your contributions to this program plays for other students at your schools who'll be getting these scholarships," she said.
The program partnered with the University of North Alabama in 2016 for a transfer scholarship for students who receive a full Pell Grant and wish to transfer to UNA.
Beginning this fall, those students will receive a $500 transfer scholarship from UNA and Shoals Scholar Dollars will match that per semester to help these students finish their four-year degree.
Shoals Scholar Dollars receives all scholarship funding through fundraisers in the local area.
The finalists themselves raised a cumulative total of $3,000 for the the scholarship fund.
Shoals Scholar Dollars Executive Director Randy Pettus said the program is unique in that it allows any student who meets the criteria and wants to earn a college degree toward productive citizenry to get a scholarship award.
Simpson said he realized he was among some of the most outstanding students in the Shoals with his nomination for the award.
"Just knowing how deserving every one of them is makes me that much more grateful," he said. "This achievement definitely shows me that all the hard work has paid off."