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Students earn Park, Morehead-Cain scholarship nominations

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KENLY — Three North Johnston High School seniors have been nominated for two of the most prestigious scholarships offered in North Carolina.

Samantha Davis has been chosen to compete for the Park Scholarship of N.C. State University while Graham Walston will be competing for the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. William Stallings will be competing for both the Park Scholarship and the Morehead-Cain Scholarship.

The Park Scholarship is named for the late Roy H. Park, an N.C. State alumnus who created the charitable Park Foundation, dedicated to education, media and the environment.

It was established in 1996 and provides a four-year scholarship including tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, computer stipend, travel and personal expenses.

Named for its benefactors John Motley Morehead III and the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation, the Morehead-Cain provides a full four-year scholarship covering tuition, books, room and board, a laptop computer and four summer experiences known collectively as the Morehead-Cain Summer Enrichment Program.

The Morehead Scholarship was created in 1951 by the John Motley Morehead Foundation and was renamed in 2007 after the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation contributed $110 million.

The selection process begins with nominations. Candidates will also face interview sessions with selection boards that will name scholarship recipients later in the year.

Samantha Davis, the daughter of Matt and Heather Davis of Kenly, is a Park nominee. She has one brother, Avery Davis.

Davis is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as the group’s treasurer. She is also a Future Farmers of America member and serves as club historian. She was a member of First Priority and plays tennis and softball.

Even prior to the Park nomination, Davis was planning to attend N.C. State University and pursue a science-related degree, although she is undecided on a career.

“It was an honor to be nominated for the Park Scholarship and knowing that hard work in my classes has paid off,” said Davis.

Graham Walston, son of Brent and Catherine Walston of Wilson, is a Morehead-Cain candidate. He has one sibling, Ian Walston, who is a student at N.C. State.

Walston serves as president of North Johnston’s National Honor Society chapter. He is also a member of the soccer, football, tennis and track teams.

His college plans include applying to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. He is undecided on a major or a career.

“I was honored to hear that I was nominated for such a prestigious award as the Morehead-Cain Scholarship,” said Walston. “To be nominated gave me great pleasure that my hard work ended up receiving recognition.”

William Stallings, son of Steven and Melissa Stallings of Selma, is a Park nominee and a Morehead-Cain nominee. He has one brother, 9-year-old C.J. Stallings.

Stallings currently serves as National Honor Society vice pesident and JoCo Teen Drivers president and is a member of his church youth group. He is captain of the school cross-country team and is a member of both the indoor and spring track teams.

Before being nominated, Stallings had planned to attend either N.C. State or UNC-Chapel Hill and study engineering, criminology or computer science.

“I feel honored to have been chosen by my school for these scholarships and was proud to tell my family I had been nominated,” said Stallings.

He hopes to one day become a nuclear engineer officer in the Navy.