Making a Difference: Club helps send Knox Co students to college

The Knoxville Rotary Club awarded scholarships to four Knox County Students for their community service and academic achievements.
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 7:01 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Tuesday afternoon, the Knoxville Rotary Club awarded four Knox County students scholarships for their community service and academic achievements.

One of the recipients was Linnea Johnson who earned the James Schaad four-year $20,000 scholarship. At 17-years-old, Johnson is a business owner, assistant manager at a pizza restaurant, graduated high school with a weighted 4.5 GPA at Hardin Valley Academy, scored a 34 on the ACT and spent nearly 100 hours serving the Knox County Community. Her next mission is college.

“I’m excited,” Johnson said.

Jennifer Sepaniak said the club received a record number of 70 applications this year.

Forrest Hamilton,18, stood out from the bunch. He received his diploma and an associates degree in May from Career Magnet Academy.

“It feels like I’m making a difference for my family,” Hamilton said. “A lot of the financial burden of college holds people back. It’s what held me back. For a while, I didn’t want to further my degree. I just wanted to get out into the workforce and start making money.”

Hamilton was awarded a one-time $5,000 scholarship as he heads to Ferris State University.

Other recipients included: Emma Smoker who graduated from Powell High School with a 4.33 weighted GPA and a 30 on the ACT and Macy Vaughn who graduated from Alcoa High School will receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship.

Johnson will be attending UT for a degree in occupational therapy while Hamilton is headed to Michigan in hopes of pursing a career in welding engineering.

According to Sepaniak, Knox County principals receive a letter from the club asking for potential recipients for the upcoming year.

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