Four Haywood County high school seniors were awarded the Pop and Marj Kelly Merit Scholarship at Haywood Community College. Amyia Deitz and Thomas “Zeke” Long of Pisgah High School and Parker Montgomery and Sarah Simmons of Tuscola High School were each awarded $10,000 for two years.

This competitive scholarship requires applicants to submit an essay, as well as a list of their community and extracurricular school activities. In addition, recipients are required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.5.

Deitz plans to take nursing. She is certified as a nursing assistant and in CPR and first aid. “I love helping others in need,” she explains. “Attending HCC would be fulfilling my dream of becoming an RN.”

For Long, HCC will be the first step on his path to becoming a mechanical engineer. After obtaining an associate in arts degree at the College, he plans to transfer to North Carolina State University. “My hopes are to make Haywood Community College proud, utilize the resource of a local community college and then further my education,” he says.

At HCC, Montgomery will take college transfer classes then pursue a degree in nursing. Although he has been accepted at three schools, he says, “I have chosen to go to HCC to help my family from having a financial hardship. I have heard it is an excellent place to learn and get ready for life as an adult.”

Simmons will study nursing at HCC then transfer to Western Carolina University to get a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. At age five, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which inspired her to become a pediatric oncology nurse. “The nurses I had made every clinic visit something to look forward to,” she explains. “How they reacted to other sick kids was truly inspiring. I want to be like those nurses. I want to help scared children and their families feel safe. I want to make an impact on the lives of others that were made on mine.”

Registration for fall semester is underway now. For more information, visit or email For more information about this scholarship or to give to the HCC Foundation, please call 828-627-4544 or email