Sandhills PRIDE announces scholarship winners

Sandhills PRIDE, a support network and educational advocacy group dedicated to increasing awareness and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the Sandhills, announced the recipients of their annual scholarship, which is open to LGBTQ+ students and allies.  

The three awardees are high school seniors Sierra Begley, Alara Hainer and Isabella Samkin.  They have each received $2,500 in scholarship funds.

Sierra Begley attends Union Pines High School and impressed the scholarship committee with her immaculate academics and powerful prose.  Begley is the president of her school’s writing club and participates in theater, chorus, and cross-country.  Sierra has enrolled in North Carolina State University for the Fall of this year.

Alara Hainer is a student at South View High School. An individual of incredible determination, Alara persevered through outstanding odds in high school and plans on becoming a teacher.  For extracurricular activities, Alara is a tutor, special education teacher assistant, and founder and president of her school’s “Earth-Wise Environmental Club.”  Alara plans to attend UNC Pembroke this year.

Isabella Samkin is a senior at Pinecrest High School and served as the Vice President of her high school’s Spectrum club, volunteered with LGBTQ+ organizations, and taking part in an international art Zine collaborative.  She is helping publish the Zine’s next edition with an international team, and in her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and oil painting.  Isabella has been accepted at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA.

Sandhills PRIDE will be celebrating these students with a virtual banquet on Sunday, May 2.  Individuals can sign up to attend at the Sandhills PRIDE Facebook page, or at

The mission of Sandhills PRIDE is to unite, celebrate, and serve LGBTQ+ people, their allies, and sister organizations by providing social engagement, service, education, and leadership in the Sandhills region of North Carolina. Sandhills PRIDE is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization based in Pinehurst.  Sandhills PRIDE relies on donations to fund scholarships and activities.

To donate to Sandhills PRIDE, please visit For more information, please send a message to [email protected].

Feature photo: Scholarship winners (left to right): Sierra Begley, Alara Hainer, and Isabella Samkin.


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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