East Hardy High Senior Jesse Cook has been awarded a $2,500 college scholarship from Hardy Telecommunications and the Foundation for Rural Service.
The FRS scholarship program annually awards $75,000 in scholarships to rural youth across the United States. Thirty-one scholarships were awarded nationwide this year out of almost 1,300 applications. The goal of the scholarship program is to help further higher education opportunities among rural high school students.
Scholarship recipients were selected by an independent team of reviewers from the education field. Hardy Telecommunications had no input into the selection process. To be eligible, recipients must be sponsored by an NTCA member company and must indicate a desire to return to their rural communities once their collegiate studies have been completed.
“Hardy Telecommunications is thrilled to offer the FRS scholarship program, and I couldn’t be happier for Jesse,” said Derek Barr, Hardy’s marketing/human resource director. “I’ve had the privilege of working with him on Hardy’s Youth Advisory Board and taking him last year on the FRS Youth Tour to D.C. He’s an exceptional student and person, and the entire community should be proud of his accomplishments.”
Derek said Jesse is the first area student sponsored by Hardy Telecommunications to be selected for the FRS scholarship in several years.
“I joined Hardy in 2005, and Jesse is the first student to be awarded an FRS scholarship in my time here,” he said.
Jesse said he was honored to receive the scholarship.
“I would like to thank the Foundation for Rural Service and Hardy Telecommunications for the opportunity to achieve this scholarship,” he said. “In order to receive this scholarship, I had to write an essay describing how rural living shaped me for the better. I am very fortunate and blessed to have been raised in this small rural community, which has given me core values that I will hold dear to my heart all my life. I find it an honor and a privilege to represent Hardy Telecommunications, this community and rural America in my future endeavors in education and beyond.”
In his essay, Cook stressed the positive influence that the Hardy County community has had on his life.
“Being raised in a small town has shaped me for the better. My family, friends, and people in the community have taught me the importance of respect, trust, honor, and cooperation,” he wrote. “As a result of living in a rural community, I will carry these values with me wherever I go, to a large city or even right back home to my community which I love. The core moral values I have learned as a rural resident will stay with me throughout my life, and I am proud to proclaim that I was so fortunate and blessed to have learned those values from a rural community.”
Derek said the $2,500 scholarship, which includes contributions from FRS and Hardy Telecommunications, will be presented to Cook in late July.
The FRS was established by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association in 1994 to promote, educate, and advocate rural telecommunications issues to the public in order to sustain and enhance the quality of life within communities throughout rural America.