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University announces Heller Scholars for 2013-14

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Furman University has awarded major scholarships to 13 graduates of Greenville County high schools for the 2013-14 academic year.

The recipients are the first to receive the Max Heller Community Scholarship, which was established last fall.  The $20,000 scholarship is available yearly to one student at each of the 14 public high schools, three charter schools and South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville County.  The goal of the scholarship is to encourage talented local students to remain in the area and strengthen their commitment to the Upstate.

The Heller Community Scholarship is named in honor of the late Max Heller, the former Mayor of Greenville and Furman trustee who was well known for his exemplary work in the Greenville community and whose life was a monument to leadership, education, mentorship and a passion for learning.

The scholarships are awarded based on the recommendation of the student’s high school administration, commitment to attending Furman, and evidence of admissibility to Furman’s undergraduate program.  The scholarships are renewable for four years provided the student remains in good academic standing with the university.

The recipients of the 2013 Max Heller Community Scholarships are:

Berea High School – Sergio Lopez Cuevas

Lopez Cuevas will attend Furman this fall where he plans to study communications and education with the goal of becoming a high school guidance counselor. At Berea High, Lopez Cuevas was a Beta Club member, National Honor Society member, varsity soccer player, and Bridges to a Brighter Future Humanitarian Award winner. Outside of school, he participated in his church’s youth ministry as vice president and served as secretary in a Hispanic Community Group. Lopez Cuevas is the son of Sergio Lopez Aguilar and Lucila Cuevas Ramirez of Piedmont (29673).

Blue Ridge High School – John Paul Teague

At Blue Ridge High School, Teague participated in three musical groups and formed two of his own. As a Furman student, Teague plans to major in music performance. His community involvement revolves around music, from participating in his church’s orchestra and jazz ensembles to performing in hospitals and nursing homes with his choral group. Teague is the son of Paul and Marcy Teague of Greer (29651).

Carolina Academy – Larkidus Robinson

At Carolina Academy, Robinson was part of National Honor Society, student government, varsity soccer, and band. Active in United Way, he plans to study psychology and foreign languages at Furman, and aspires to be a clinical psychologist. He is the son of Alvin Robinson and Vanessia Bolt of Piedmont (29673).

Greenville High School – Laura Paige Penkert

A National Honor Society member, Penkert graduated in the top five percent of her class. At Greenville High she participated in Academic Team, Book Club, Latin Club, and Swim Team. Outside of school, she served her church as a Youth Group Student Leader, FCA Student Leader, and as Sunday school teacher. This fall, Penkert is interested in studying biology and history at Furman, and is considering a career in medicine. She is the daughter of Richard and Evelyn Penkert of Greenville (29605).

Greenville Technical Charter High School – Hannah Woodson

Having an interest in obstetrics, Woodson is looking to pursue the pre-med track and a degree in Spanish at Furman. A National Honor Society member, Woodson participated in Greenville Tech’s academic Beta Club, Youth Choir at her church, and Greenville Health System’s MedEx Academy. Woodson also has a passion for learning about climate change and is committed to green living. She is the daughter of Clarence and Kathleen Woodson of Greenville (29609).

Hillcrest High School – Jasmine Blassingame

During her time at Hillcrest High School, Jasmine Blassingame competed on the tennis team and dance team.  She was a member of the marching band color guard and honors orchestra. Blassingame was named a Student Rotarian based on her dedication to serving others.  She wants to continue her involvement with community service as a Furman student where she plans to major in physics. She is the daughter of Fredrick and Laura Blassingame of Simpsonville (29680).

James L. Mann High School – Laura Woodside

Woodside graduated in the top five percent of her class at J.L. Mann where she participated in Student Government and National Honor Society. As a Furman student, she is considering a path in accounting, business, or economics. Active in the community, Woodside served as chairman of Greenville’s Youth Commission; and as a student body officer, she helped raise $117,000 for Project Hope during J.L. Mann’s Spirit Week. She is the daughter of James and Mollie Woodside of Greenville (29607).

Mauldin High School – Olivia Marie Baddley

At Mauldin, Baddley participated in Youth in Government, and spearheaded a program called “Beyond the Mountaintop” for which she earned the Top Service Project of the Year distinction from the Riley Institute at Furman. She was also recognized as Top High School Youth Volunteer in South Carolina. Community-minded, Baddley served in Interact, a rotary service club for youth, and Youth Leadership Greenville. She was student body secretary, played varsity lacrosse and participated in cross-country at Mauldin. This fall, Baddley plans to continue her involvement with the Riley Institute and Heller Service Corps while pursuing a major in business with a focus on international relations. She is the daughter of Scott and Janice Baddley of Simpsonville (29681).

Riverside High School – Daniela Mesa Sanchez

At Riverside, Mesa Sanchez participated in National Honor Society, Beta Club, and French Honor Society while earning National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar and AP Scholar. On top of school activities, she helped found and run Atlas, a program that raises money for charities. She also participates in Furman’s Bridges to a Brighter Future and HHMI Bridges Science Exposure Internship Program. At Furman, she plans to study chemistry, physics or computer science with the goal of becoming a scientific researcher. She is the daughter of Juan Mesa and Lilliana Sanchez of Greer (29650).

South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities – Mason Lambert

At the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities, Mason Lambert was conductor of the gospel choir. He was a member of the South Carolina All State men’s choir and the ACDA men’s choir.  Lambert served on the Honor Council and plans to major in music at Furman.  He is the son of William and Janet Lambert of Spartanburg (29369).

Southside High School – Martin Salvatore Donzella

While attending Southside, Donzella was actively involved in Air Force Junior R.O.T.C., theater, and marching band. His extracurricular activities included volunteering at the Greenville Zoo camp as well as his role as Master Server at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. This fall Donzella plans to develop his passion for theater, and looks forward to studying psychology and sociology at Furman. He is the son of Mark and JoEllen Donzella of Greenville (29615).

Travelers Rest High School – Kayla Noelle Cartee

At Travelers Rest High Cartee was actively involved in Young Life, and was editor-in-chief of the yearbook, earning the Yearbook Excellence Award. She also received the Better Business for Integrity Award. Cartee anticipates majoring in business at Furman. She is the daughter of Keith and Kelly Cartee of Travelers Rest (29690).

Woodmont High School – Johnny Christopher Graham

Originally from Germany, Graham was involved in athletics at Woodmont High, volunteering as a coach for women’s basketball, and was a shooting guard for the men’s basketball team. As a member of Wildcat players, he participated in theater productions. In the community, Graham volunteers for special needs kids and adults. He sees a career in elementary education in his future, and is interested in pursuing a major in education or business at Furman. He is the son of Ted Wright and Ewa Graham of Greenville (29609).

For more information about the scholarship, contact Furman’s Office of Admission at 864-294-2034.

Last updated December 10, 2019
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director