Coal Creek Watershed Foundation
awards scholarships to help educate
a new generation of community leaders

Seven scholarships totaling
$60,000 awarded to
Kimberly Phillips, Emily Phillips Holley Smith,
Tallen Roldan, Paul Long, Nick Cox, and Jonathan Towe!

12 May 2015


Excerpt from CCWF scholarship award
presentation at Anderson County High
School by Barry Thacker, P.E.

The Coal Creek Watershed Foundation has awarded 36 scholarships to Briceville students over the past 13 years.  The only requirement is that scholars must serve as role models for current Briceville students at our annual Coal Creek Scholars Day event in December. 

Rev. Roy Daugherty was a founding board member of our organization who passed away a few years ago.  When facing a tough decision, I can still hear Rev. Roy say, “Ahh, sometimes all you need is a little faith.”  Well today is one of those days when we will be awarding seven scholarships totaling $60,000.  Roy, I don’t know how we can afford it, so we need you to put in a good word for us up there.

We started a postgraduate scholarship program last year to help Lyndsey Phillips go to law school.  This year, we’re helping Jonathan Towe go to medical school.  He chose East Tennessee State University for its Rural Family Medicine program because his goal is to set up his practice in Anderson County someday and be known as Doc Towe.   

Anderson County High School graduating seniors earning scholarships this year are Paul Long, Holley Smith, Tallen Roldan, Nick Cox, Emily Phillips and Kimberly Phillips.  Special appreciation goes to Kim for putting blond streaks in her hair.  Now, for the first time in 12 years, I can tell the difference between Kim and Em.     

Scholars on stage with Barry Thacker, PE, and Carol Moore
at Anderson County High School's Awards Ceremony

SCHOLARS L to R: Jonathan Towe, Tallen Roldan, Nick Cox, Emily Phillips, Holley Smith, Paul Long, and Kim Phillips

Kim will study criminal justice with a goal of going to law school.  Em aspires to be a forensic pathologist, while Holley will study nursing.  Tallen will attend business school and Paul will go to accounting school.  Nick’s goal is to study wildlife biology and fisheries, “So I can make Coal Creek even more beautiful than it already is.” 

They earned their scholarships by participating in community service projects and submitting essays on improving the quality of life in the watershed.  Pick a work day over the past four years and you’ll see photos of the Class of 2015 Scholars. 

·       Coal Creek Miners Museum work day

·       Militia Hill work day

·       Mountain Mayhem Tour

·       Installing historical markers at Briceville Library

·       Human book chain at Briceville Library

·       Installing historical markers at Militia Hill

·       Highway trash cleanup

·       Cleanup in preparation for Cross Mountain Mine 100th anniversary service

·       Installation of historical markers along Fraterville Miners Memorial Highway

CCWF President, Barry Thacker, P.E. says, “Our favorite day of the year is when our scholars in college return to serve as role models for current Briceville students.  We may need to hold next year’s event in the gym, but that’s a good problem to have.”

CCWF board-member Carol Moore says, “Our goal is to give every Briceville student the incentive to excel in middle school and high school because they know they have the potential to get a college education.” 

Nantglo is Welsh for Coal Creek and these scholarships recognize the contributions of the Welsh miners who helped East Tennessee rebuild after the Civil War.  They came to Coal Creek to escape persecution in Great Britain.  Here is where they wrote about their new land in their native language at a time when it was illegal to do so in Wales.  Those books now reside at Harvard University where they are still used as references by students today. 

The importance of education to the Welsh is recognized on one of the new historical markers at Briceville Public Library, which Scholars from the Class of 2015 helped install.  The other historical marker at the library tells how Condy Harmon, a former Briceville student, quit school to become a miner and support his family after his father died in the 1902 Fraterville Mine explosion.  Kim, Em, Holley, Tallen, Paul, and Nick honor his sacrifice by completing high school and attending college. 

Below is a photo of a few of this year's scholars back on an American chestnut planting event held on Zeb Mountain in 2009.  Pictured are Holley Smith, Emily & Kimberly Phillips, and Paul Long.

 With the addition of the Class of 2015, forty-two students
from Briceville have received CCWF Scholarships since 2002!

Scholars on a cold, fun work day at Militia Hill in 2014

Scholars Tallen Roldan & Paul Long
installing historic markers
at Briceville Library

Scholars Victoria Wright, Kim Phillips,
Holley Smith and Emily Phillips
installed historic markers on
Militia Hill

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