A funny thing happened for a Youth Tour alum on the way to entering the scholarship contest. Well, funny in retrospect. Not so much at the time.
“I am a known procrastinator,” said Eden Wallace, a member of the 2017 Youth Tour, who waited until 1 a.m. the morning the project was due to submit it.
She had a PowerPoint with video, plus documents, so she wasn’t surprised when her email system said it would take an hour to send. But an hour later she discovered that at 57 megabytes it was too big to send. She tried a different email. She tried uploading it to Google Drive. But with the sun about to rise it was no go.
“I’m freaking out. And on top of that it’s my birthday,” said Wallace, 17.
At a decent hour her mother told her to put everything on a flash drive, and they hightailed it 90 minutes down the road to The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina office in Cayce.
Smart move. On Aug. 25, Wallace was surprised at her school with news that she won the statewide’s 2017 R.D. Bennett Community Service Scholarship, worth $5,000.
For her project, Wallace collected backpacks and other items for children in her community who are in foster care. A family friend suggested the idea.
“When you think of community service you think of animal shelters, you think of the homeless people, soup kitchens. You don’t really think about foster children,” said Wallace.
Van O’Cain, director of public and member relations at the statewide, noted the judges were impressed with the amount of work Wallace put into her project in just a few short months.
“Eden’s efforts embody what our scholarship program is all about—showing leadership while helping out in her community,” said O’Cain.
Wallace is a member of Pee Dee Electric Cooperative in Darlington. The high school senior isn’t sure how she’ll pay for college and is applying for as many scholarships as possible to pursue her dream of going to England to attend St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.
Michael W. Kahn is a staff writer for NRECA.