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 17, 2017

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: March 30

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.
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 in determining eligibility of applicants and selection of recipient from those applicants.
E. 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

($500, considered for renew a second year)

DUE: March 30

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


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, etc.) that plan to attend Gaston College, Cleveland Community College, York Technical College, or Central  Piedmont Community College. Selection criteria shall be based on character, work  ethic, and need. 

Clyde & Dezaree Brackett Family Scholarship

(2 recipients- $1,000 and $1,500, per year- renewable up to three terms)

DUE: March 1, extended deadline- March 31

These awards provide college, university or  professional school scholarships for selected Gaston County high school graduates. Awards are based on academics, character and financial need.

Tom Browne Scholarship


DUE: March 31

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 Endowed Scholarship Fund


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 and infectious positive attitude and spirit of cooperation.

Max J. Fowler Scholarship


DUE: March 30

This scholarship is designed to help people of all ages to  complete a four year degree who are accepted and enrolled at NC State University in the College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences or Engineering. The  applicant must be a resident of Gaston or Cleveland counties. Criteria for  selection includes: community service, school performance, class rank,  interest in the arts and 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

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

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 30

For rising college Junior and Senior 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.

Tom Hogan Scholarship

($750 to $1,500)

DUE: March 28


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: March 1

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: March 1
Extended deadline: March 15

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.

William P. and Odessa Swann Phillips Scholarship


DUE: March 31

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)

DUE: March 31

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: March 1

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: March 30

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, March 31st, to be  eligible. To qualify, the graduate must attend an accredited NC college or university.
For questions about our scholarships, please contact Elizabeth Patton 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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