Two Greenwood High School seniors have been awarded reserve officer training corps scholarships for university study starting this fall.
ROTC scholarships are awarded based upon an applicant's character, leadership potential, athletic ability, and academic record.
"Twenty five thousand high school seniors apply for these scholarships and four thousand are awarded. It is a very competitive process," said Eric Larson, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC, Retired.
One recipient is Ashton Bell who has accepted the United States Marine Corps Frederick C. Branch four year scholarship to study at Tennessee State University while cross enrolled in naval science classes at the NROTC unit with Vanderbilt University.
"As time went on, I saw that the military was the career that I wanted to pursue and my family supported it. So we applied for the scholarship and I was enamored whenever I found out that I received and it was an honor for both myself and my family," said Bell.
The other recipient of this scholarship is Artisan Dolby who has accepted a United States Army three year national scholarship to study at the University of Kentucky while also earning a minor in military science through UK's Army ROTC program.
"I was shocked when I first got word. My family was really proud of me and we had gone through two of the board before getting word that we had won a scholarship, so it was a really happy feeling," said Dolby.
Some advice they would offer to others looking to follow in their footsteps is instilling a leadership quality within yourself.
"Be a leader for the community and in high school in academics. Find a sport to play at, seek leadership roles, seek things that are going to put you out of your comfort zone and try to serve your community as well. Try to make as much of an impact as you can," said Bell.
"Be a good citizen, give back to your community be a hard worker and just be a well rounded individual," added Dolby.
Both Bell and Dolby have been members of the Greenwood High School Navy junior reserve officer training corps for four years and have participated in various other sports, clubs, and activities at the school and within the community.