Chestertown, MD, May 3, 2006 — Joyell Johnson—a Kent County High School senior from Worton and daughter of Ralph and Carol Johnson—has been selected as the first recipient of the Kent County Vincent Hynson '87 Scholarship. Established in honor of late Washington College alumnus and community leader, Rev. Vincent Hynson, the scholarship will meet 100 percent of Johnson's annual educational expenses—tuition, room, board, and book costs—not met by federal and state need-based grants.
Johnson credits her parents and the guidance counselors at Kent County High School with encouraging her to apply for the scholarship. Although she admits to "screaming" when she first heard the news that she received it, she feels that she can handle the pressure as the first recipient.
"I feel calm even though my parents have said to me that this is such a big scholarship, you are not just representing yourself but all minorities," she says. "I am able to handle it. I don't feel too pressured."
Johnson's application essay examined the life of Vincent Hynson as someone who broke down barriers for African Americans and between people of all races and creeds, a goal that she imagines for her own life. As senior class vice president, National Honor Society president, student ambassador, and active community volunteer, Johnson admits that she likes to keep a busy schedule. For the last three years she has worked as a counselor for Kent County Parks and Recreation's after-school program at Garnett Elementary, putting in five days per week, 3-6 p.m., after finishing her classes at Kent County High School.
"I work with students from Pre-K all the way up to fourth grade and help them with homework, study habits, teamwork skills, and problem-solving skills," she explains. She uses the weekends "to catch up on my sleep."
With a variety of interests from dance to modeling, entrepreneurship to performing arts, she admits it might be difficult to settle on a major at first.
"Actually, so much interests me, I'll have a hard time choosing," she says. "First, I thought I would like to study psychology. Right now I am looking at business and international studies because I like learning about different cultures."
Not surprising for someone who spent the first 10 years of life traveling the world with her family, settling in Kent County nine years ago after her father retired from 22-years with the U. S. Army.
"If there is a student who emulates Vincent Hynson's example, it's Joyell," said President Baird Tipson, who has committed $10,000 per year of his salary to the scholarship fund. "Joyell is someone who sees no barriers to what she can achieve in her life and lends a helping hand to others to make a difference in their lives. She is making positive contributions to our community and I have no doubt that she will bring that same energy to our campus."
Named in honor of late Washington College alumnus the Reverend Vincent Hynson '87, who passed away in August 2004, the Vincent Hynson '87 Scholarship Award is offered to an entering freshman who is a graduate of a secondary school in Kent County, who demonstrates financial need, and whose achievements and aspirations most closely emulate the values of Hynson, who led an exemplary life as a teacher, coach, pastor, and leader in the Kent County community. Hynson, a graduate of Kent County High School, attended Washington College as a non-traditional student, receiving a degree in history in 1987.
At this time the scholarship award will be presented once every four years. More information is available from Washington College Office of Admissions at 410-778-7700.