Scholarship recipients announced at O’Neal

Three rising ninth graders have been chosen to receive four-year scholarships at The O’Neal School. Kennedi Hamner has been awarded the Helen Pringle Holmberg Scholarship. Riley Lefler and Jaleesa Eichel are each a recipient of the Hannah Marie Bradshaw Scholarship. 

The Holmberg and Bradshaw Scholars are selected based upon the students’ demonstration of scholastic ability, leadership potential and strength of character. The scholarship process included an extensive application with essays and an interview with members of O’Neal’s Board of Trustees and O’Neal Head of School John Elmore. 

The Helen Pringle Holmberg Scholarship is given in honor of Helen Holmberg, an O’Neal graduate and the school’s first John Motley Morehead Scholarship recipient. Helen’s father, the late Centre W. Holmberg, Jr., served as chairman of O’Neal’s Board of Trustees. 

Current O’Neal students that meet grade point average requirements and are nominated by O’Neal faculty are considered. This scholarship recognizes leadership, scholarship, moral force of character and physical vigor.  

Kennedi Hamner is the daughter of John and Jennifer Hamner of Pinehurst.  She is the 24th Holmberg Scholar.  Kennedi is a three-season student-athlete for volleyball, basketball and soccer. This year as an eighth-grader she played on the varsity girls soccer team at O’Neal. She is also a member of the Science Olympiad team and has been active with faith-based groups for girls and young women in the community.    

The Hannah Marie Bradshaw Scholarship is given in memory of Hannah Marie Bradshaw. Hannah spent half of her life as an O’Neal student, and she loved the school as a positive place that helped her reach her true potential. Students not currently enrolled at O’Neal are considered.

Scholarship recipients announced at O’Neal School

 Hannah Marie Bradshaw Scholarship recipients Jeelsa Eichel and Riley Lefler (center) and Stan Bradshaw.

This year for the first time, two students were chosen to receive the scholarship. Riley Lefler comes from West Pine Middle School and Jeelsa Eichel is from Highland Middle School in Sanford. They are the 17th and 18th recipients of the scholarship.  

Riley is the daughter of Jason and Lori Lefler of Candor.  Riley plays on a travel basketball team but also runs cross country and plays basketball and soccer for school. She is a member of the West Pine Fellowship of Christian Athletes as well as the West Pine Middle Interact Club.  Among many community service projects, Riley helped to bring recycling back to West Pine Middle School.  

Jeelsa is the daughter of Sean and Sarah Eichel of Sanford. Jeelsa plays on a select travel soccer team. She also plays school volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Jeelsa has also played on an All Star softball team. A sports enthusiast at heart, she also enjoys freehand drawing, music and hanging out with friends. 

Applications for these scholarships are accepted at the beginning of each calendar year. Visit The O’Neal School website for more information. 

Feature photo: Helen Pringle Holmberg Scholarship recipient Kennedi Hamner with Head of School John Elmore.

Courtesy photos/Contributed.

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