Through the generosity of Community Foundation donors, we’re able to offer more than two dozen scholarships that recognize achievement, respond to financial need and help us build a future generation of community leaders. The criteria, application process and annual award amount vary, so explore the details below.

David Belk Cannon Family Scholarship

($1,500 per year, renewable for a second year)

This scholarship was established in 1996 as a memorial to Mr. David Belk Cannon’s son, David Belk Cannon, Jr. and his daughter, Rebecca Cannon, both of whom died in a tragic fire.  The recipients are selected based on merit, academic achievement, and need. Each must be a full-time student, maintain a 2.0 GPA, attend a luncheon event, and participate in the scholarship’s mentoring program to continue receiving scholarship funds. Recipients may be enrolled in any course of study at Gaston College. Each year one applicant will be awarded $1,500 for the academic year.  Other applicants will be awarded $1,000. To apply, visit Gaston College's Scholarship site.

The David Belk Cannon Family Scholarship 2


This scholarship was established in 1996 as a memorial to Mr. David Belk Cannon’s son, David Belk Cannon, Jr. and his daughter, Rebecca Cannon, both of whom died in a tragic fire.  The recipients are selected based on merit and must maintain a 2.0 GPA. Gaston College graduates who received the David Belk Cannon Family Scholarship are eligible to apply for a one-time $2000 award for continuing study at a four-year college or university. To apply, visit Gaston College's Scholarship site.

Alaina N. Abernathy Scholarship


A scholarship awarded  each year to a graduate of Cherryville High School in memory of Alaina N. Abernathy, who died in an accident at the age of 15. Eligibility for the  scholarship includes criteria, which Alaina’s parents believe, reflects her  personality and interests as outlined in application information. Please contact  Cherryville High School for an application.

George and Patricia Barnard Scholarship

($5,000 per year, renewable up to three terms)

DUE: March 14, 2019

Dr. and Mrs. George Barnard and family have  established a renewable “We Believe in You!” scholarship for four years in the  amount of $5,000 per year to be awarded to a Gaston County public high school senior.   The Barnard family seeks to assist one graduate in the pursuit of her or his  dreams of a college education. Contact your high school guidance counselor for  more information on this scholarship. The criteria for this award are as  follows:

  • GPA of 3.0 or better
  • College Preparatory Course of Study
  • Evidence of participation in extracurricular activities
  • Evidence of leadership, motivation, and initiative
  • Evidence of strong financial need

Bradley Alton Baxter Memorial Scholarship


Candidates must have attended West Lincoln High School for at least 2 years and meet all graduation requirements.  Also, they must not have any discipline referrals, an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher, involved in school/community activities. Six candidate recommendations will be made by the West Lincoln High  School Scholarship Committee. The final decision will be made by Brad Baxter Scholarship Committee. A maximum of two, $500.00 scholarships will be awarded each year.  Please contact the West Lincoln High School guidance  counselor for more information and the application.

The Locke Bell Family Scholarship



Deadline February 28

This program is designed to help deserving high school graduates to obtain a college or advanced technical education. Funding comes from the Locke Bell Family, a Gastonia Family with a strong interest in supporting the educational dreams of young people with financial needs. The plan for this academic year is to make available a scholarship of $2,000 to Gaston College.


A. Scholarship criteria will include, need, character, and academic achievement. Although not required, special priority will be given to applicants’ participation in the Boys and Girls Club.

B. Eligibility to apply: Current High School senior. In addition to normal channels for application, applicants may be nominated by unit directors of both Boys and Girls Clubs.

C. Selection of recipients will be made by a committee named by the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Gaston County, which shall have full and final authority in determining eligibility of applicants and selection of recipient from those applicants.

D. Renewal of each scholarship is possible for up to one year, assuming that the student is pursuing a logical academic progression as determined by the Selections Committee.

Bess Chapel U.M.C./Brad Baxter Scholarship Fund

($750.00, considered for renew a second year)


DUE: March 28

Applicant must be a resident of Gaston or Lincoln counties and received their high school diploma. Student must also have received acceptance at college/university. Selection is based on financial need, work ethic, strong positive character and high school scholastic performance. 

Alfred W. Bohanan Scholarship

  Two recipients  $2,500 each 

DUE :May 31

This program is designed to help Gaston County  students pursuing careers with Trade Degrees (i.e. machining, air conditioning,  auto mechanic, construction, electrical, plumbing, nursing, etc.) that plan to attend Gaston College, Cleveland Community College, York Technical College, Central  Piedmont Community College, or any accredited College or University. Selection criteria shall be based on character, work  ethic, and need. 

Clyde & Dezaree Brackett Family Scholarship

1 - $1,500 scholarship- renewable up to three terms)


DUE: March 21

This scholarship is designed to help deserving Gaston County high school graduates obtain a college or advanced technical education. Awards are based on academics, character and financial need.

Tom Browne Scholarship



DUE: March 21

These  scholarships are funded by gifts from Beam Construction Company of Cherryville  to honor the late Mr. Browne. This program helps high school students receive a college education and/or advanced vocational training for careers in the construction industry. Qualifications include character, academic achievement and need. The  applicant must be a graduate of a Gaston County High School (or a Gaston County resident for at least two years with GED certification) who demonstrates a  strong interest in the field of construction or related professions. Planned  course of study may include either a four-year school in architecture and  engineering or a community college, technical school in such areas as civil  technology, HVAC and welding.

Perry Fewell Honorary Leadership Scholarship


($500 - $1,000)

Candidate must be a South Point High School senior in good academic standing (B Average) planning to attend a college, university or  vocational school. Please contact the South Point High School guidance counselor  for more information.  Selection criteria: demonstrated leadership in a minimum of three of the following categories: academics, student government, school  clubs, school sports, community service; demonstrated exceptional character on  and off campus; exhibits an infectious positive attitude and spirit of cooperation.

Max J. Fowler Scholarship



Due:  February 28

This program is designed to help either a traditional student or returning adult student complete a four-year undergraduate degree that are accepted and enrolled at NC State University in the College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences or College of Engineering. The program has been developed to honor Max J. Fowler’s lifelong devotion to community education and the field of engineering.   The applicant must be a resident of Gaston or Cleveland counties.


Selection criteria shall be based on character, academic achievement, and community service listed in order of importance:

1. community service

2. school performance

3. class ranking

4. any additional interests in music or the arts

5. financial need

Paul F. Fuller Scholarship

($1,000 each year, renewable up to three terms)

This scholarship was  established in honor of Paul Fuller, an enthusiastic participant of the Chamber  of Commerce’s and Gaston County Schools’ Student Mentoring program. The  applicant must have been a part of the Mentoring Program and a graduating senior  from a Gaston County High School. If you would like a copy of the application, please contact Valerie Yatko at Gaston County Schools, 704-866-6329.

The David Gaines Memorial Scholarship

April 15


($2,500 one time)

Scholarship offered through the  Gaston County Jaycees.

In order to be eligible for the  David Gaines Memorial Scholarship, an applicant must:

1.  Be a high school  senior.

2.  Live in Gaston County.

3.  Provide proof of need for  financial assistance.

4.  Have a cumulative grade  point average of 3.00 or higher.

5.  Plan to attend any North  Carolina college or university.

6.  Demonstrate involvement in  community service and/or volunteer work.

7.  Report annually to the  Gaston County Jaycees on achievements and goals.


William & Hazel Hardin Education Scholarship



DUE: March 28

For students pursuing a  degree in preschool, elementary or secondary education. For residents of Gaston,  Randolph or Richmond counties. Based on character, academic achievement,  financial need and desire to work with children.  This program is designed to provide financial assistance for graduating high school seniors, current college students full-time or part-time who are pursuing a degree in preschool, elementary or secondary education.



 Selection criteria shall be based on character, academic achievement, financial need and demonstrated desire and ability to work with children as shown through volunteer, church, or previous work experience. Character and demonstrated desire to work with children shall be the most important criteria of those stated.

Tom and Erlene Hogan Scholarship




DUE: March 28 

This scholarship was established by the children of  Thomas Hogan (Tom)  and Erlene Hogan, to honor their memory and provide support to one of their many passions, Education.  Tom was a resident at Terrace Ridge Assisted Living for 17 months and received excellent care while there.  The family wishes to provide educational support to a staff member at Terrace Ridge.


Applicant must be an employee of Terrace Ridge Assisted Living and remain an employee while attending school. They must also be a legal US citizen, with grades 2.5 or better in core subjects, and attend a NC college or university.

The Sylvia L. Holmes Scholarship



DUE: February 28

This  program is designed to help young women achieve higher education at an  accredited college or university. It was established to honor Sylvia L. Holmes  and her many contributions and distinguished tenure as Executive Director of the Pioneer Council, Girl Scouts of the USA. Scholarship Criteria is based on the  character, academic achievement and need of a female high school senior and  resident of the Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Polk and Rutherford Counties of NC.  The young woman does not have to be a Girl Scout, but scouting participation will be looked upon with favor as will attendance at a NC college or university.

Jarman Family Scholarship



DUE: February 28

Established to help children of full-time religious ministers who are residents of North or South Carolina to  achieve an undergraduate or graduate degree. One recipient is chosen per year  based on character, academic achievement and need.

Kings Mountain Student Scholarship


Please contact the Kings Mountain High School guidance office for the application.

Helen Rhyne Marvin Scholarship


This scholarship has been  created by friends of Helen Rhyne Marvin, a former history teacher at Ashley  High School and Gaston College and an eight-term senator. It will be awarded to a senior at Ashbrook High School planning to major in history or political  science and attend either Gaston College or one of the 16 universities of the  UNC system. This award is based on academics, character, and service.  The  deadline is the last Monday in April each year. For more information please contact Ashbrook High School.

Albert G. Myers Scholarship

A.G. Myers Scholarship application 2019.pdf

(8 recipients - $20,000 Scholarship, $5,000 per year)

DUE: February 22 ( please return application back to school counselor)


First Gaston Foundation Fund, annually awards a maximum of eight scholarships (unless prohibited by Federal Regulations governing scholarships).   Each Scholarship is for $5,000 per year or a total of $20,000 to be used over a four year period. Funds will be paid directly to the school selected by the scholarship winner. 

Scholarship funds are not to exceed the actual cost of tuition, books, fees, supplies, board, lodging, and/or other expenses directly related to educational needs.

Since it is the intention of the Foundation to provide funds for the necessary cost of attending college, the Albert G. Myers Scholarship funds will be coordinated with all other scholarships received by an Albert G. Myers Scholarship recipient to the extent that the student will not receive more than the total cost of education.

Students receiving Albert G. Myers Scholarship awards are required to furnish grade reports for each semester to the First Gaston Foundation Fund.  The recipient may attend the school of his/her choice, provided such school is approved by the Foundation.  Students will be expected to pursue a full course of study.  If the student does not maintain suitable proficiency in his/her studies, or if personal conduct of the student becomes unsatisfactory, scholarship funds will be withdrawn.


The rules under which the scholarships will be awarded are as follows:  Recipients shall be seniors in the public or private high schools in Gaston County who are also residents of Gaston County.  Recipients must be citizens of the United States of America.

Applicants are eligible to compete for scholarships only during the year in which they are scheduled to graduate from  high school.  Students requiring summer school work after normal graduation time will not be eligible to compete.


Responsibility for the selection of the scholarship winners will be vested in a committee which consists of the presidents, or their appointees, of the following organizations in Gastonia:

Altrusa Club, Belmont Rotary Club, Gastonia Civitan Club, Gastonia Kiwanis Club, Gastonia Rotary Club, Moloch Lodge #468, and Noon Optimist Club.

Any member of the Selection Committee who has a child, grandchild, brother or sister applying for a scholarship must be replaced.


The selection committee will give consideration to the following factors when judging applicants for scholarship awards:

1.      Purpose in Life

2.       Financial Need

3.       Character

4.       Qualities of Leadership

5.       Participation in Student and Community Activities

6.       High School Scholastic Achievement

Applications are made available in the Winter/early Spring each year.  For more information on the Myers Scholarship, please contact:  Nina C. Greene

William P. and Odessa Swann Phillips Scholarship




This program is designed to help a deserving African  American Gaston County public high school graduate obtain a college or advanced  technical education.

Mildred J. Sadler Scholarship


($1,000, renewable up to three terms)



Established with the Community Foundation to honor  Mrs. Mildred Sadler.  This scholarship is designed to help African American, Gaston County public school students pursuing a college or trade degree.  Awards are based on  academics, character and financial need. 

Theodore Drury Stowe Science and Technology Scholarship Program

($1,000 per year, renewable up to three terms)

Applicant must be a student of South Point High School. Please contact the South Point High School guidance counselor for more information and for the application.

Lonnie & Rachel Waggoner Nursing Education Endowment Fund

(Scholarship amount varies)

A permanent endowment to honor the professional and  community service contributions of Dr. Lonnie Waggoner. Annual scholarship  grants to students seeking an accredited degree in the field of nursing. The  award can go to graduating high school seniors or to those wishing to upgrade their skills. Awards shall be for one year only. Applicants for the scholarship  must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited nursing program offering degrees in one or more of the following: LPN, RN, or BSN. Selection  criteria include financial need, character academic record. Please contact  Sandra Kelly, CaroMont Health, 704-834-4042 or  Applications are accepted January through February.

Dr. Grover W. White Scholarship Program



DUE: February 28

This scholarship program is funded by an endowment and serves as a lasting memorial  to the late Dr. White, a respected Urologist in Gastonia for 33 years. The  applicant must be a resident of Gaston, Cleveland or Lincoln County in North  Carolina or York County, South Carolina and who will attend an educational  institution in North or South Carolina. The applicant must be seeking an  advanced degree in a medically related field: i.e., MSN, NP, MD, DDS, PA, PT;  must already hold a bachelors degree or higher with a 3.50 GPA and must be attending or have been accepted at an appropriate school for the chosen field at  the time of application.

John E. Willoughby Scholarship



DUE: February 28

From the Gastonia Evening Lion's Club; the purpose of this scholarship is to aid a Gaston County High School  graduate who is seriously sight/hearing impaired or a child of a person who is sight/hearing impaired. Applicants must have been a resident of Gaston County for at least one year at the time of the deadline date, February 28, to be  eligible. To qualify, the graduate must attend an accredited NC college or university.

Honorable Ralph C. Gingles, Jr. Scholarship

(2  recipients - $2,000)


Due: February 28

This scholarship was established in memory of the Honorable Ralph C. Gingles Jr. Ralph Gingles was committed to his family, education, and serving his community. This scholarship is being established to continue his legacy for generations to come, recognizing that working together to support one another is what truly makes a difference.


This scholarship will recognize two Gaston County graduating high school students with a GPA of 3.0 unweighted or better, who have been accepted to a four year college/university, and who show financial need. Students must complete the specified application and essay, 500 word minimum discussing the importance of the case, Thornburg v. Gingles and its effects on voting rights. Students are eligible to apply for a one time $2,000 scholarship; up to (2) recipients will be awarded.

The Weisler United Beverage Scholarship WEISLER UNITED BEVERAGE APPLICATION

This program is designed to provide continuing educational opportunities for children of United Beverages of NC Employees,obtain a college or advanced technical education. 


A. Scholarship criteria includes financial need, work ethic, strong positive moral character, and academic achievement:

B. Eligibility to apply: Current year high school graduate (or newly certified GED) who is graduating from an accredited public, private or charter school and whose parent(s) has been an employee of United Beverages for at least three years as of the application deadline.

C. Scholarship may be used in any accredited college or university or a specialized technical school. The selection committee reserves authority to consider the nature and credentials of any technical school to be attended by an applicant.

D. Selection of recipients will be made by a committee named by the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Gaston County, which shall have full and final authority for determining eligibility of applicants and selection of recipients from those applicants.

E. Renewal of scholarship is possible through the application process.

For questions about our scholarships, please contact Nina Greene at the Community Foundation.

Teens Changing Gaston County

Join Teens Changing Gaston County for an excellent extracurricular activity involving philanthropy with your Foundation!

"I am so grateful to have received this scholarship. Attending college can be expensive and it's great to know some of my finances will be covered."

Gianna Partee, 2014 recipient of the William P. & Odessa Swann Phillips Scholarship

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 123 Gastonia, NC 28053

Street Address:
1201 E. Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054




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