Spirit of America 2017 scholarship recipients named

From left, Zachary Swift, John Hancock, Denzel Mitchell, Jack Ruark and Thomas Hamilton

Mary Ball Washington Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge recently announced the four scholarship recipients from area high schools for the 2017 Spirit of America Conference at Valley Forge in April. All are juniors.

Jack Ruark of Middlesex High School received the Ruby Lee Norris Memorial Scholarship. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Ruark of Urbanna.

Northumberland High School will be represented by John Hancock, the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Hancock of Heathsville; Denzel Mitchell, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Mitchell of Heathsville; and Zachary Swift, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Swift of Reedville.

Thomas Hamilton of MHS is the alternate. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hamilton of Urbanna.

The scholarship will pay each recipient’s expenses for the four-day conference at Valley Forge where they will meet with other students from all over the country who have gathered to learn more deeply about the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, civic responsibility and the free enterprise system, reported education co-chairman Gerry Waring. The conference will conclude with a visit to the historic district of Philadelphia which students will tour before departing for their home states on Sunday.

Academically motivated students are nominated by their U.S. history teacher and are subsequently individually interviewed by a chapter team, said Waring. In addition to the personal interview, nominated students submit a brief essay describing why they would like to attend Spirit of America. At the conclusion of the interview process at the area high schools, all nominees are then ranked with the four highest from all the high schools being selected.

Lancaster High School did not submit any applications this year, he said. Students will travel by train to Philadelphia with a chaperone(s) from the chapter.

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