New scholarship is awarded to its first recipient

Published 12:10 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

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By David Willard
For the Clemmons Courier

Make a difference, change the game for the better, leave a legacy, be a guide that someone else can follow and make better, and then someone else will follow that and make that better.” This quote by Carlos Wallace gets to the heart of what a life can mean once we are gone, or the impact it can have on others. It’s this legacy that can give a life lived well more meaning. It is this legacy that can make all the difference.

Last November, the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce and The Clemmons Foundation introduced the Mason H. Hunter Vocational Education Scholarship of the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce. The scholarship was created in honor of Mason Hunter, a young Clemmons teen who passed away from an accidental drug overdose in March 2018. This year the scholarship was awarded to the very first recipient, Owen Hopgood.

The award is given each year to a student who plans to pursue a vocational trade career path. The purpose is to help students achieve a degree from a technical school and in turn help them find a job in the community. Hopgood is a recent graduate from West Forsyth High School and indeed wants to pursue such a path, as he plans to attend Guilford Technical Community College and work for a degree in aviation systems technology.

“I am going to school to be an aircraft mechanic,” says Hopgood. “I am currently taking flying lessons and will receive my private pilot certification in the next few months. I have always loved mechanics and finding out how things worked,” he continues.

Hopgood’s enthusiasm and drive have certainly aided in the decision to make him the first recipient. However, another aspect that has certainly helped him is gratitude for what the Clemmons community has done for him. “I was honored to represent the Hunter family and the Clemmons community in accepting this scholarship. (Winning this award) really puts into perspective how tied together our community is,” he adds.

The Mason H. Hunter Vocational Education Scholarship, although limited to future vocational college students, is certainly not limited in scope. Vocational and technical college programs will educate young students who will obtain jobs in the community and work to make the community stronger. These graduates will then be able to fill very skilled positions that the community needs.

Owen Hopgood has the foresight to see another benefit of the scholarship, as well. “It helps give your connections and confidence in the business world and helps to get your name out there and make connections early,” Hopgood concludes.

The scholarship started last year by the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce and the Clemmons Foundation is a true testament to how important it is to leave a legacy both by an individual and a community. These legacies become footprints that others can follow, and in the case of Owen Hopgood, those footprints will go as far as the sky and the airplane he repairs will take him. It is those kinds of legacies the Clemmons community can continue to thrive on for years to come.