By: Ashley Winterstein
Out of ten entries, a well deserving Kent Island High School student has been chosen as the recipient of the 4th Annual Teen of Character Scholarship. The $500 scholarship, sponsored by the Centreville Rotary, was presented to Ashley Deppe at the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners’ Meeting on May 26, 2009. Her scholarship award will also be recognized at Kent Island High School’s Awards night.
Nomination letters were accepted from members of the community describing the character of college bound students in Queen Anne’s County. A Character Counts! Advisory Council member, Jeff Straight, and a Centreville Rotarian, Linda Hickman, reviewed each letter to determine which senior best exemplified the Six Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, & Citizenship.
Deppe’s nomination letter was written by her supervisor at the Kent Island Yacht Club, Winkie Wilson. Along with serving as her class president, organizing the prom for her senior class, and serving as a member of the Queen Anne’s County Citizens Advisory Committee, Deppe also works two part time jobs in preparation for college. She has been a server in the dining room at the Kent Island Yacht Club for many years and has certainly impressed Wilson with her manners, attitude, and willingness to help others. In her letter, Wilson gave specific examples of how Deppe demonstrated all six of the pillars through her many activities, but believes, “TRUSTWORTHINESS is probably the uppermost pillar represented by Ashley. She is extremely reliable, has a very fine reputation, is as principled as they come and very loyal. She handles large sums of money when working at both jobs, represents her high school, and is honest as the day is long.”
Deppe credits her family for instilling her with good character. Her mom places a high value on education and contributing to the household chores. Deppe’s grandparents, who are an important part of her life, have always taught her the importance of respecting others and yourself. With these positive influences in her life and good old fashioned hard work, Deppe has been on the Honor Roll all four years of her high school career, while working to purchase her first car all on her own.
Deppe will be heading to North Miami in the Fall to study Hospitality Management with a concentration in Cruise Lines at Johnson & Wales University. A seemingly perfect fit, John Bowen, the president of JWU shares on their website that, “Community service and engagement is fundamental to JWU’s signature career-focused education. Our priority is developing students who have the skills, training, and personal commitment to be strong, ethical leaders in their industries and communities.” Deppe is obviously a student who understands the importance of community service and personal responsibility.
Deppe acknowledges the importance of scholarships for college students today. She explains that she applied for over 100 scholarships, in hopes of fulfilling her dream of going to JWU, a university where she must pay out-of-state tuition rates which are significantly higher than that of in-state schools. Deppe understands that without the help of local and university scholarships, the dream of attending college, much less her school of choice, would not be possible.
When asked if she had anything else she would like to add at the end of her interview, an ever humble Deppe replied simply, “Thank you.”
The Character Counts! Advisory Council would like to congratulate Ashley Deppe on her achievements and wish her the best of luck in her college career! We would also like to thank the Centreville Rotary for their continued support and funding of this special scholarship that has helped such deserving students in the past four years.
If you would like more information about the Character Counts! program, please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.