The Lucketts Ruritan Club awarded $5,000.00 to Lauren Shea-Engratt toward her studies at Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Newport News, Virginia, where she is enrolled in the pre-dental program. In recognition of Lauren’s strong interpersonal skills, she was accepted into the President Leadership Program at CNU. Students invited to join the prestigious President’s Leadership Program are selectively chosen to focus on leadership and their commitment to leaving an impact on the community through service.
Lauren’s road thus far has been full of hard work, determination, dedication, and a real sense of compassion and understanding of what it means to truly ‘give back’ through community service. Lauren’s academic record is impressive. She graduated with a 4.06 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society, and was selected to the Science National Honor Society.
In addition to the hard work it took to maintain these grades, Lauren was active in sports and demonstrated the dedication to train and excel in this area. Lauren is a runner and a member of the varsity cross-country and track teams for four and three years, respectively. Lauren not only trained on the team’s rigorous schedule, but also ran hills with her older sister here in Lucketts. Last season, her track 4 x 100m relay team qualified and participated at the State Championships and topped off a terrific year with an incredibly memorable experience.
As if balancing her academics and sporting events was not impressive enough, Lauren held Vice President (Junior Year) and President (Senior Year) officer positions in the Key Club at Tuscarora. Key Club is a service-oriented club of over 100 members from grades 9-12 that organizes and executes various projects each year. The projects, designed to help all age ranges, include yearly book drives for the Head Start Program and Sunday afternoon Bingo games at Heritage Hall.
However, this next project that Lauren told me about is one I want to highlight because it demonstrates an awareness and caring for others beyond what one might expect of a high school age young adult. Every year, the Tuscarora Key Club coordinates a food drive, but last fall, seeing the need in her home town of Lucketts, Lauren and the Key Club members collected food and donated all of it to fill the empty shelves at Faith Chapel Food Pantry. This effort involved organizing the Key club members, providing them with food collection bins, members taking time on Saturdays to collect from their respective neighborhoods, and dropping off the filled bins to Lauren’s house. Due to COVID-19, the food pantries in the county have stepped up their requests for donations. The Faith Chapel Food Pantry was no exception, and when Gary Mears sent out a call for help, Lauren was in a unique position as the President of the Key Club to answer. Gary Mears, Chaplain of Faith Chapel and Lucketts Ruritan Club member, said, “Not only did they provide food—and lots of it, a number of students volunteered to work at our food distributions this past winter! Overall, they were a big help!”
While many challenges have arisen during these uncertain times, Lauren has seen opportunities to look outside herself and not only see, but act to help others who are truly in need. Like many other newly graduated seniors, Lauren will leave Lucketts in August to move and get settled as she embarks on this new phase of her life. The Lucketts Ruritan Club is honored to play some small part in launching this exceptional young woman onto her next path in life. We wish her every success in her future career in dentistry and in all of her life’s adventures.
The Lucketts Ruritan Club supports Lucketts Youth development through programs directly organized by the club or through the provision of financial support to youth-oriented programs such as the Rudy Youth Clubs, Lucketts Boy Scout Troop 1910, and Lucketts Girl Scout Troop 751. Additionally, each year, the Lucketts Ruritan Club awards scholarships to exceptional graduating Lucketts seniors from any public, private, or homeschooling program, based on excellence in academics, active community service, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation, to be applied toward their post-graduate studies. To ensure a non-biased selection process, the Point of Rocks Ruritan Club reviews and ranks the applications and recommends several applicants for potential recognition with an award. This year, the Lucketts Ruritan Club awarded a total of $15,500.00 to four outstanding seniors, all of whom graduated from Tuscarora High School and are residents of Lucketts. It was my great pleasure to feature Lauren Shea-Engratt in this article. The other three awardee’s stories will be posted soon.