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Kelly Merit Scholarship


Five Haywood County 2022 high school graduates were awarded the Pop and Marj Kelly Merit Scholarship at Haywood Community College. Kinley Gilliam and Macon Haider of Pisgah High School and Jason Frazier, Gabriella Loredo-Marquez and Josie Rodriguez 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.

Gilliam plans to take general education and Automotive Systems courses. She is following a family legacy where many relatives have attended HCC. “This scholarship will really help to lift the financial burden of my single mom,” she explains. “With hard work, I know that I’ll be able to follow my dreams for my future.” 

For Haider, HCC will be the first step on his path to becoming a fisheries biologist. After obtaining a Fish & Wildlife Management degree at HCC, he plans to transfer to a four-year school to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. “I want to be in the rivers and streams researching and protecting fish. With hard work and dedication, I will achieve my goals,” he says. 

At HCC, Frazier is considering a program in the natural resources field. As a junior and senior in high school, he has already completed more than 20 credit hours at HCC. “My ultimate goal is to have a professional impact on this community in helping preserve the beautiful Smoky Mountains,” Frazier says.

Loredo-Marquez will pursue an Associate in Arts degree and eventually transfer to a four-year school to pursue a degree in psychology. She is the first in her family to finish high school. “One of my goals is to normalize prioritizing mental health in the Hispanic community,” she explains.

Rodriguez also plans to obtain an Associate in Arts degree to become a teacher. “My mission as a teacher is to be a voice for the students who struggle.”

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