Lillard-Shadow Scholarships Honor Students’ Commitment to Community Service
Volunteer Energy Cooperative rewarded four exceptional graduating seniors for their commitment to community service and their academic achievements by awarding them with VEC’s 2012 Lillard-Shadow Scholarships.
Each of the four students was awarded a $2,000 scholarship to attend the college of his or her choice.
The Lillard-Shadow Scholarship program was endowed to honor the lives and community service of J.W. Lillard and Willis A. Shadow. Lillard and Shadow were dedicated to improving the lives and livelihoods of community residents through electric power. And the two were instrumental in the organization of the Meigs County Electric Membership Corporation in 1933 - the organization that eventually evolved into Volunteer Energy Cooperative.
To honor this history, an independent panel of education professionals judged applications for Lillard-Shadow Scholarships based largely on students’ demonstrated commitment to community service.
Alyssa Ashburn, a 2012 graduate of Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute in Fentress County; Dimi Iles, a 2012 graduate of Cumberland County High School; Zachary Dye, a 2012 graduate of Rhea County High School; and Derek Roberts, a 2012 graduate of Polk County High School were winners of this year’s VEC Lillard-Shadow Scholarships.
VEC awards four Lillard-Shadow Scholarships annually. One is awarded in each of VEC’s four service districts. Ashburn was the Jamestown Service District winner, Iles was selected from VEC’s Crossville Service District, Dye was the winner in VEC’s Decatur Service District, and Roberts was the winner in VEC’s Cleveland Service District.
Ashburn, the daughter of Dana and Gwen Ashburn, has an extensive record of community service that includes Operation Christmas Child, Children’s Shopping Spree, and Relay for Life. She has also served on the Youth Fair Board Committee and as a volunteer cheerleading coach.
She is planning to attend Belmont University where she plans to major in nursing.
Iles is the daughter of Ken and Paula Iles and has demonstrated her commitment to the community through numerous projects with “Christmas on the Mountain,” the Salvation Army, Special Olympics, and Plateau Pregnancy Banquet.
She plans to attend East Tennessee State University and study pre-dentistry.
Dye, the son of Time and Bethany Dye, has served the community with volunteer work that includes 4-H and Rhea County Rescue Squad. He is also active in church activities such as school supply drives, playing piano and singing, and is active in his church youth group.
He plans to attend the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and study secondary education.
Roberts, the son of Teresa Roberts, also has an impressive record of community service that includes working with West Polk Fire and Rescue, Toys for Tots, the Empty Stocking Fund, developing the local Chamber of Commerce website, Explorer fundraising, and emergency tornado response.
He plans to Vanderbilt University to study computer engineering.
VEC President/CEO Rody Blevins said VEC is proud to honor students like these who have shown a real commitment to serving others through community service.
“Our scholarship winners are the types of students who can look beyond their own individual wants and needs and focus on the needs of those around them,” Blevins said. “We are very pleased to offer them our support and best wishes.”
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