GOOSE CREEK, S.C.–Stratford High School seniors, Kathryn Taylor and Harrison Wedgeworth, won a combined $10,500 in scholarship money during the Charleston Exchange Club’s Youth of the Year Scholarship program on April 13 at the Charleston Rifle Club.
Taylor won $6,000, while Wedgeworth won $4,500. The Youth of the Year Scholarship recognizes students who have attained high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement, and leadership.
Bridget Price, a school counselor at Stratford High, said, “Kathryn is an outstanding young lady who excels academically and in extracurricular activities. Her noteworthy achievements include being selected as a delegate for Palmetto Girls State and being chosen for the lead role in Stratford’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”
Price went on to praise Wedgeworth for his consistent involvement in activities throughout his high school career. “He has competed at the national level in two Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competitions and recently won first place in the 2017 FBLA State Competition in the area of Computer Problem Solving,” Price said. “He also recently placed in the DECA State Competition and will be traveling to Anaheim, California, to attend the DECA National Convention at the end of April.”
Both Taylor and Wedgeworth wrote compelling essays with the theme Inspiring a Community to Be a Better Place.
Taylor wrote, “The ability to inspire change is the ability to combine untapped potential with endless opportunity and create a blaze. Leaders across the world understand that even the greatest change begins with the smallest spark of inspiration, with a single action, and from there burns across communities.”
Wedgeworth’s essay focused on the bond of the Charleston community following the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting. He wrote, “Instead of allowing their community to deteriorate into chaos, they grabbed onto this bond, this community, and used it for its true purpose – to be united under something everyone in the area can use as comfort. They held onto this internal love and used it to wash away the suffering, and like an iron fortress, Charleston’s community stood strong.”
Both Taylor and Wedgeworth plan to attend college in-state. Taylor plans to pursue a degree in graphic communication at Clemson University, and Wedgeworth will pursue legal studies at The Citadel.