Knoxville Rotary awards scholarships

Jay FitzDowntown, Our Town Youth

Yesterday, the Rotary Club of Knoxville awarded three, four-year, $20,000 college scholarships at its lunch meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.


“This is always one of the best meetings of the year,” said Rotary President Ginny Morrow. “Awarding scholarships is one of the most important things we do, and it’s so rewarding to keep track of the previous winners and their successes in life.”

Jennifer Sepaniak chairs Rotary’s Scholarship Awards Committee. “This year we reviewed 31 scholarship applications,” she said. “We are very pleased to be able to award three scholarships to such worthy young people.”

Regan Wright

Regan Wright of Powell High School is the winner of the Townes L. Osborn Scholarship. Wright graduated with a 4.3 GPA and a 29 on the ACT. She plans to enroll at the University of Tennessee, in the fall and will eventually transfer to East Tennessee State University to complete her physical therapy degree. She plans to specialize in working with patients with special needs.

Wright has earned a black belt in Karate and has taught herself to play 13 different instruments. She was the captain of her high school’s volleyball team for two years and was the section leader in her school’s marching band for two years. She also participated in many other school clubs and activities. Her passion is helping students with special needs, and she has been peer tutoring and caring for students since middle school. She has actively served the community through church and school service projects. Additionally, her family has adopted a two-mile stretch of road that they maintain.

Noah Bruhin

Noah Bruhin of Grace Christian Academy earned a 4.0712 GPA and a 26 on the ACT. He plans to attend UT to study to become a physician’s assistant. Bruhin has been involved in many sports and activities throughout his time in school. He has been a member of the Grace Christian Academy ensemble choir and drama/musical theater program. He was also a member of the fishing team, the tennis team, and the captain of the wrestling and football teams. As if that weren’t enough, he was also the vice president of the executive student council.

While Bruhin was in high school, he also had the responsibility of helping to care for his ill father. This is what led him to pursue the path to becoming a physician’s assistant. Sadly, his father recently passed away. Bruhin served the community through his church and with Emerald Youth and other sports organizations. He was actively involved in “Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine,” a prom held for students with special needs. His great grandfather, Ed Nolen, was a member of the Rotary Club of Knoxville.

Esther McFall

Esther McFall graduated from Farragut High School with a 3.97 GPA and a 29 on the ACT. She plans to attend UT-Chattanooga, where she will study environmental science. Her family has spent a lot of time enjoying nature, and she is interested in clean air and water projects and preserving safe habitats for wildlife.

McFall is the ninth of 10 children. Two of her older siblings were awarded Rotary college scholarships in Aiken, South Carolina. Her father recently retired from the Department of Energy after 40 years of employment. McFall takes care of her family’s and her neighbor’s yards and she recently replaced her father’s car’s passenger side view mirror.

Joshua Washington

McFall has been actively involved in youth ministry at her church and at church camps. She also devoted many hours of community service to her local library and her church’s food pantry. She was her school’s girls’ cross country team captain, and has been involved in a stagecraft class that allowed her to create theatrical space designs.

Additionally, the Bob and Diana Samples Community School of the Arts Scholarship will be presented to Joshua Washington of West High.

Information provided by Rotary Club of Knoxville.

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