Two recent high school graduates are the first recipients of a new scholarship promoting good citizenship in Gallatin.
A’Niya Boone from Gallatin High School and Sarah Kamaridinova from Station Camp High School were each selected to receive a $500 James B. Hawkins Good Neighbor Scholarship from the Gallatin Chamber Foundation earlier this year.
The scholarship, named after the late Gallatin attorney and Sumner County School Board member, is meant to recognize seniors who “exemplify the traits of a good citizen,” according to Kim Baker, CEO of the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Both of the recipients demonstrated high moral character through their writing and recommendation letters, not just within their schools but also within the ways they served within the community,” Baker said. “There were countless opportunities they took upon themselves to make a difference, plus leadership roles they evolved into within their schools.”
Any graduating senior from either of the two public high schools in the city can apply for the annual scholarship. The students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average, two letters of recommendation and evidence of community service beyond those required for graduation, a club or activity affiliation. Applicants must also provide proof of a commitment to a college and submit at least a 500-word essay on what being a good citizen means to them.
According to their applications, Boone plans to attend Crown College in Minnesota this fall while Kamaridinova plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University Honors College in Murfreesboro.
The two were announced as the first recipients of the scholarship shortly before graduation earlier this spring.
“Promoting kindness, promoting citizenship and promoting education were all very important to Jim, and to me too,” Hawkins’ widow and Sumner County School Board member Betsy Hawkins said about the scholarship. “I couldn’t think of a better place for that money to be used than to be put back into our community for students and our next generation.”
Funding for the scholarships were raised primarily through the Gallatin Shamrock Run, which is held each March.
Betsy Hawkins also donated $4,000 to the Gallatin Chamber Foundation to be used for future scholarships. The money was originally given to the family by members of the community prior to Hawkins’ death in December of 2019 following a months-long battle with cancer.
Scholarship applications for the 2021-22 school year are expected to be available at the start of the upcoming school year, according to Baker. The foundation also hopes to grow the fund and offer more scholarships in the future.
“All of the applicants were really inspiring and encouraging,” Baker said about those who applied earlier this year. “As a community leader, it offers a lot of hope to know that the next generation of Gallatin is in very good hands. Without a doubt, the legacy of Jim Hawkins will continue to live on for many years to come.”
For more information about the James B. Hawkins Good Neighbor Scholarship visit the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.gallatintn.org or contact 615-452-4000.