The winners of two Presidential Scholarships and two Solomon Scholarships have been selected at Erskine College. The recipients of Erskine’s most prestigious scholarships, chosen from among 30 finalists interviewed on the Erskine campus Feb. 6-7, were notified during surprise visits to their schools Feb. 18 and 23.
Yami Alebachew, an Ethiopian student who resides in Simpsonville, S.C., and attends Southside Christian School, and Elizabeth Bishop of Greenwood, S.C., a student at Greenwood High School, have each been chosen to receive an Erskine College Presidential Scholarship.
The Presidential Scholarship is given in honor of the 16 presidents who have served Erskine College since the school’s founding in 1839. The scholarship is awarded based on outstanding academic performance; Christian commitment; intellectual curiosity; school, church, and community involvement; demonstrated leadership and service; and potential to excel at Erskine. It covers tuition, room, board, and fees, minus any state, federal, and outside scholarships or grants. The value of the scholarship over four years is approximately $170,000. It is renewable for four years of study, and requires the recipient to maintain an Erskine GPA of 3.0 and to uphold the ideals and standards of Erskine College.
Alebachew, who attended school in his home country before beginning his studies at Southside Christian, has been named to the dean’s list during his junior and senior years at Southside. He was a member of the Model United Nations Club in Gibson School Systems in Ethiopia, where he received awards for essay writing and English speaking. At Southside, he is a member of the varsity soccer team and Sabre Drumline. He helped coordinate sound systems and projection for church services in Ethiopia and has volunteered at the Frazee Dream Center, a free preschool, after-school, and summer program for children in the West Greenville area.
In April of 2013, Alebachew survived a serious road accident as a passenger in a school minibus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He and a friend were able to assist younger children in getting out of the bus, which caught fire. The incident caused him to reflect on his life and consider “how God can make bad things ultimately work for good.” He decided to follow his parents’ suggestion that he attend a Christian school. “Amazingly, God opened a door,” he said, for him to come to Southside Christian School with a substantial scholarship. He appreciates “each and every day” and knows “the significance and possibility of living an altruistic life in the midst of calamity.” Drawing strength from Romans 8:28, which states in part, “all things work for good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes,” he strives to “live this verse in my day to day life.”
Bishop, a member of the National Honor Society and a Greenwood High School Eagle Junior Scholar, has participated in Beta Club and Psychology Club, has played club soccer, and is one of two lead singers in a mission team band. She received an “Award of Excellence” from the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, was a People to People Leadership Ambassador, and received the Eagle Star for her performance on the SAT. She and her family have engaged in mission work at Fort Belknap Native American Reservation in Montana and she has volunteered as a coach at community soccer camps for underprivileged children.
Bishop said she grew up admiring her mother, a physician who “has the gift of giving.” She says of her mother, “The kind of giving I see in her models the kind of giving person I want to be.” She recognized that she wanted to enter the medical field herself when she became a patient after tearing a ligament. She praised her doctors, nurses, and physical therapists, saying they “have shown me the kind of doctor or healthcare worker I want to be.”
Selected to receive the Solomon Scholarship, which covers tuition and is renewable for a total of four years of study, were AnnaTaylor Hydrick of St. Matthews, S.C., and Zachary Stephen Morgan of Greenville, S.C. The Solomon Scholarship is valued at approximately $120,000.
Hydrick attends Calhoun Academy, where she is a James Otis Scholar. She serves as senior class secretary and co-president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and also participates in cheerleading, volleyball, and soccer. Her past activities have included serving as vice president of the National Honor Society and as a member of the yearbook staff. She was selected as a Washington Youth Tour participant by the South Carolina Rural Electric Cooperative. She has served as a volunteer in a number of settings, including Grove Park Hospice, Longwood Nursing Home, Cameron Youth Performing Arts Theatre, and Healing Species Animal Shelter.
Hydrick hopes to go to law school, practice law, and eventually become a judge. She believes that Erskine “will give me the biblical training to bring my faith into the courtroom.”
Morgan attends Greenville Charter Technical High School, is earning dual enrollment credit with Greenville Technical College (GTC), and has also been homeschooled with a classical emphasis. He has attended bilingual educational programs at Blythe Academy in Greenville and Ecole International Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Named a Palmetto Fellow, he is on the dean’s list at GTC and has won prizes at the Greenville County and South Carolina Regional Science and Engineering Fair as well as the South Carolina Junior Academy of Science Conference. He has served as a tutor in the GTC Math and English Lab; as an assistant coach for YMCA Youth Summer Baseball; as a vacation Bible school leader; and as a food pantry volunteer with United Ministries Emergency Assistance.
Morgan, who believes he is called to serve in the medical field, said, “I intend to use my time at Erskine to explore and confirm my calling, and with the Lord’s help, develop into the man He desires.”
The scholarship winners, all outstanding students, will be welcomed to the Erskine community in the fall when they begin their freshman year as members of the Class of 2019.