Metcalf wins friendship council scholarship

Published 9:36 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2015

MLK DonnaTatnellSamMetcalfJosephFox
by Leah Justice
Every year the Thermal Belt Friendship Council
presents a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. program and
grants a scholarship to a local high school student for
the best essay.
This year’s program was held at the Tryon Fine Arts
Center on Saturday, Jan. 17 with Polk County High
School Senior Samantha Metcalf winning the $500
Metcalf plans to attend N.C. State University after
graduation and study engineering.
Other recognitions were given to area middle school
students who participated in a creative contest for art
and essays. First place for the art awards went to Madeline
McDonagh, Polk County Middle School; second place to
Arizona Bright, Landrum Middle School and third place
to Jessica Hyder, Landrum Middle School.
The first place essay award was given to Sarah Russell,
Polk County Middle School; second place to Riley
Lawter, Polk County Middle School and third place to
Austin Lindsey, Polk County Middle School.
Following is Metcalf’s essay:
Though Polk County North Carolina may not seem like
the most diverse city in the world, you would be
surprised. For my senior project, I spent my time at the
Polk County Transportation Authority (PCTA); learning
about the ins and outs of the department. During my
time there, I realized just how diverse we are.
Even in this day and age, there are still some opinions
that are less than friendly when it comes to social,
racial, equality, and diversity issues. Through my time
spent at PCTA, volunteering for community service
activities, or even my time spent at school, it is my hope
that these issues will no longer be issues.
Growing up in a family where I was always taught to
treat people the way you want to be treated, I never
really questioned why anyone would have a reason to
be mean to another. In elementary school, when we
learned about the pre-civil war era, I could not wrap my
mind around the fact that a body of people were seen as
inferior because of their skin color. In middle school,
when we learned about the Holocaust and the genocide of millions upon millions of Jews, it made me want to
learn about people and what prompts them to do such
horrific things.
It is my hope to one day become a civil engineer, a
field of study that is predominantly male. Whenever
asked what I plan on doing when I get older, I am
always met with comments that reassure me that our
world is changing. Females are stepping up and are
being seen as, and treated like, equals. There is
excitement that a young girl wished to pursue a “man’s”
job. Feminism is in the air and it is no longer being
associated with man hating but with equality among the
genders. Prompted by Emma Watson’s “HeForShe”
campaign, men are using their voice to call for the equal
treatment of women in education, in the workforce, and
in life.
In college, I plan on joining clubs and organizations that
help to fight against social, racial, equality, and diversity
issues. With everyone working together, the change that
has begun will not take long. Everyone is human.
Everyone is equal.

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