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Michael D. Bennett Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Michael Bennett Scholarship Awarded to THS Seniors

 Two Tarboro High School seniors, Mallory Byrum and Jewel Leonard, have won the Michael D. Bennett Scholarship for Academic Excellence.  Applicants for the award completed a rigorous application process and held both a 3.5 grade point average and minimum 1500 score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The scholarship was established by businessman, publisher, and philanthropist Michael D. Bennett, who believes young people with proven academic potential, strong character, and intrinsic motivation should be supported as they embark upon college.  The value of each scholarship is $2,500.

“I have always valued education and literacy, so I set up this scholarship to recognize the best of the best in our schools.  These two young ladies personify the qualities we hope to nurture in every child,” said Bennett, a Princeville native. “In Mallory and Jewel, I see two future community leaders.  This scholarship is simply my way of making an investment in their future that they will pay forward once they graduate.”

Both young ladies plan to apply their scholarships at East Carolina University in the fall and to major in nursing.


Mallory Bynum        Mallory Byrum, a Tarboro resident, is daughter of Scott and Bobbie Byrum.  She served as editor in chief of the Tarboro High yearbook, vice-president of the National Honor Society, and president of the St. James United Methodist Youth Council.  She attended Governor’s School and Summer Ventures, participated in the Distinguished Young Woman program, and received the Girl Scouts Gold Award.

     “I strive to lead by example and without judgment, recognizing the strengths in others, and always considering the impact of my actions,” said Byrum. “As I pursue opportunities to achieve my goals, I know that I am the only person who can place limits on myself.” 

Jewel Leonard

    Jewel Leonard, a Princeville resident, is daughter of Sandra and Harold Carney.  She served as Head Captain of the Tarboro High Color Guard and Winter guard, section editor of the yearbook, and College Ambassador Club participant.  In addition, she was the first Tarboro High student ever to win the Patrick S. Gilmore Award, an honor that recognizes marching band excellence.  Leonard has volunteered with Vision Services Group, an after-school program, and the Tarboro Chamber of Commerce. 

I believe hope, optimism, and dedication are the values needed to get the most from school and life,” said Leonard.  “It would be extremely hard in life to succeed without these qualities.”


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