Extension Master Gardener Volunteers Announce Scholarship

— Written By Katy Shook
en Español

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Each year, the Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Chowan, Gates, and Perquimans Counties award a $1,000 scholarship to an area student pursuing advanced studies in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, and/or natural resources. Since 2015, ten students have received the award. Funds for the annual scholarship are raised through donations, and proceeds from an annual Spring Garden Show. The event, hosted by the Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Chowan, Gates, and Perquimans Counties attracts over 650 visitors to the Perquimans County Recreation Center. During the pandemic, funds were raised through a bulb sale.

Samantha Corduan, 2021 Scholarship Winner

Samantha Corduan, 2021 Scholarship Winner

In 2021, the scholarship winner was Samantha Corduan – a resident of Chowan County and a student of Lawrence Academy. Samantha is currently pursuing a degree in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in Community Leadership and Development from Virginia Tech. 

“The main focus of our Extension Master Gardener℠ program is to enhance public education in consumer horticulture,” says Nancy Dougherty, Master Gardener℠ Volunteer and scholarship committee chair. “As a natural extension of our program, we now offer a scholarship.”

According to Shook, the horticulture industry saw a huge increase in the amount of people gardening at home in 2021. “Whether people are increasing their self reliance, enhancing, or supplementing their diets, or just have more time on their hands, we’re seeing the demand for horticulture education reflected in our response. I am especially proud of our Master Gardener℠ volunteers for recognizing the increased demand and responding with continued support of the scholarship. Agriculture is our state’s number one industry of which horticulture is a major part. Our goal for scholarship winners is that they gain skills to share with their communities, just as our Master Gardener℠ volunteers have done for over 17 years.”

“Our scholarship committee is looking forward to working with you,” says Dougherty. “We hope you will help distribute information about the award and encourage qualified applicants to apply.”

To be eligible for the award, students must reside in Chowan, Gates, or Perquimans Counties; attend an accredited public, private or parochial school, or enrolled in a state-approved home school; and ensure acceptance to or enrollment in a 2-year or 4-year accredited college program in a qualifying field of study. Additional criteria, documentation, and a complete application are required. For more information about the Katherine G Shook Master Gardener Scholarship, students should contact their local guidance counselor or call (252) 482-6585.