Elkin High School student Madison Shoemaker, daughter of Joshua and Melissa Shoemaker of State Road, recently received the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, which is a full award to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for four years.
Named for its benefactors, John Motley Morehead III and the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation, the Morehead-Cain provides tuition, books, room and board, a laptop computer, and four summer experiences known as the Morehead-Cain’s Summer Enrichment Program.
Selection criteria for the Morehead-Cain are leadership, academic achievement, moral force of character and physical vigor. Recipients are chosen solely on the basis of merit and accomplishment, not financial need.
Shoemaker was nominated by Elkin High School for the scholarship, then she filled out an extensive application which included several essays and recommendation letters. A few months later, Shoemaker was informed she had made it into the semi-finalist round along with 20 percent of the other applicants. Soon after, Shoemaker traveled to Winston-Salem for two interviews.
Several weeks later she learned she had made it into the finalist round and would be attending the Finalist Weekend held at UNC-Chapel Hill. During that weekend, Shoemaker got to experience life at Carolina, including rushing Franklin Street after beating Duke, and was interviewed twice more. A week later, Shoemaker was informed she had won the scholarship.
Shoemaker is looking forward to the independence and opportunity college will bring, but understands there will be adjustments to college life. “I will definitely miss my family and friends the most. I have experienced countless adventures with my friends, and they make me laugh every day. My family is supportive of everything I do and have made me the person I am today.”
Shoemaker is unsure about a major or career she wants to pursue. “I’ve always had an interest in English, but I’ve also considered law, music and neuroscience. I’m excited by the opportunities I’ll have in college to take different classes and figure out what I want to do.”
Katie Beard is a member of the Elkin High School Journalism Club.