By Deneesha Edwards, The Dispatch
A North Davidson High School senior received the second-largest scholarship awarded by Lees-McRae College.
North Davidson High School senior Emma McGovern was awarded the Elizabeth McRae Scholarship, which is a full-tuition scholarship to Lees-McRae College. She plans to play soccer and will study communication art and design.
Emma McGovern, 18, will attend the school in Banner Elk this fall on a full-tuition scholarship after competing with more than 40 other students to receive the Elizabeth McRae Scholarship.
"I was really happy about it," she said. "It's pretty great. I'm really grateful. I had no idea I was going to get it."
Every year the college hosts a Scholars Day for prospective students who demonstrate a high level of dedication to leadership and academics. The honors program hosts the event that allows students to compete for two big scholarships by writing an essay and interviewing. As the recipient of the award, McGovern will have to remain active in the honors program and maintain a 3.0 grade point average while in college. She has a 4.4 GPA at NDHS.
The scholarship was named for Elizabeth A. McRae, who is one of the two namesakes of the college, according to a news release. McRae was a summer school teacher at the school in the 1900s when it was an all-girls school run by the school's founder, the Rev. Edgar Tufts.
McGovern said it's a huge relief because the college is a private institution. She plans to study communication art and design.
"I'm looking forward to the college experience. It's something different," McGovern said.
She will also play soccer for the school. McGovern has played soccer since the age of 3. She has been playing for NDHS for the past four years.
"I'm excited about playing soccer on a college level," she said. "Lees-McRae had the program I wanted. I really like the location and (soccer) coach. Everything I was looking for was there."
McGovern is the daughter of John and Dawn McGovern. She has two older siblings — Jessica, 22, and Matt, 24.
Dawn McGovern said she was surprised about the scholarship. She noted they were trying to figure out how they were going to pay for college, and the scholarship took a huge burden off of the family. She was also thrilled to see all of her daughter's hard work and sacrifice pay off.
"Emma is such a well-rounded kid," Dawn McGovern said. "She works hard. We're just really proud of her."