Youth Scholarships

The Rotary Club of Lake Hickory’s chief philanthropic focus is youth scholarships. Each Spring, the club chooses local scholarship recipients who meet the following criteria:

A recipient shall be:

  • A senior graduating from a high school located in Catawba County
  • In the upper fifth of his/her high school class at the time of the application
  • Able to thoroughly explain financial need
  • One who demonstrates in an essay how he/she lives out the Rotary international motto of “Service Above Self”
  • Not a child of a Rotarian

The Club also earmarks scholarship funds for distribution by the Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Foundation office for worthy students attending CVCC. Additionally, attention is also given to local, qualified seniors wishing to attend Lenoir Rhyne College.

A History of Commitment to Scholarship Funding

In December 1983, the Rotary Club of Lake Hickory began its first efforts toward scholarship fundraising for area high school students needing financial assistance to attend college. With initial support from several club members and local industry, an initial scholarship fund of $1,700 was established. Specific scholarship guidelines were set and the club began its first efforts toward fundraising in order to award scholarships on an annual basis.

Currently, the Rotary Club of Lake Hickory’s major fundraising event for scholarships is the Commscope Cup Soccer Tournament. This youth soccer event is held each Spring and is one of North Carolina’s largest soccer tournaments with broad team participation and grand community support.

Past Scholarship Awards

Scholarship funding has been awarded to the majority of past recipients over a four year period and has ranged from $750 to $6,000 between 1985 and 1991 and $2,500 to $7,500 thereafter. Since the first four scholarships were granted in 1986, the Rotary Club of Lake Hickory has awarded $439,000 to 155 students attending public and private universities in North Carolina as well as out of state schools like Harvard, Brigham Young, University of Michigan, Washington and Lee, and UVA.

How to Apply

Scholarship applications are distributed in hard copy in January/February of each year to each high school guidance counseling office. Guidance counselors are also given instructions to reinforce with students wishing to apply (Click here to view counselor instructions). Application forms may also be downloaded from this web site (Download the application here). Students are encouraged to follow the scholarship instructions carefully to avoid being disqualified and should need not apply if they do not meet the stated scholarship criteria. Guidance counselors, students, and/or parents who have questions about scholarship criteria may call Bill Gruman, Scholarship Committee Chairperson at (828) 328-9284, if they have questions about the application process.

Important Dates

  • First week in January: Scholarship forms mailed to High School Counselors
  • April 8th, 2022: Scholarship Submission/Postmark deadline
  • Late-April: Scholarship Committee convenes and selects recipients
  • Early May: Students are notified and invited to attend our Rotary Meeting to be recognized