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Blanks receives $5,000 scholarship from Battery Watering Technology

Emma Blanks’ path to the University of Tennessee this fall to study international business, marketing and economics has been paved with her passion for academics, leadership and helping people in her community.

Blanks’ diligence was recently rewarded with a $5,000 scholarship from Battery Watering Technologies, a Clemmons company that has given the scholarship to a West Forsyth graduating senior for the past three years.

BWT’s awarding criteria is that the student selected must be a member of West Forsyth’s DECA, an association of marketing students, and must show incredible work ethic and persistence.

“We wanted to help students who were leaders in the classroom and the community,” said Scott Elliott, CEO of BWT.

“I did not have the opportunity to go to college and I feel like this scholarship is one of the most important things we do. The DECA club at West is wonderful because they provide students the opportunity to network with students outside of their typical peer group, interact with businesspeople at competitions, and travel outside of their hometown for leadership conferences,” he said.

In addition to daily inspiration from teachers such as Erin Pickard, Tim Sparks and Leslie Martin, Blanks credits her parents, Eric and Amie, for helping her turn her thoughts towards business, marketing, and finance.

“When I was in the 10th grade, my mom said I might be interested in DECA and the Finance Academy, so I decided to look into it. My dad has always pushed me to get out of my comfort zone,” said Blanks.

Even before international business was her career interest, Blanks loved traveling. She has been to Guadeloupe, the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John and St. Thomas) and Paris. She also visited Argentina after hosting an Argentinian exchange student here.

“I have realized how important it is to be fluent in Spanish. I studied it in high school, and I hope to minor in it in college,” she said.

Blanks is grateful for the scholarship money she has received to help defray out-of-state costs. “We have already sent the $5,000 from BWT to UT for it to be applied to my tuition.”

Due to the uncertainty COVID-19 is placing on the operations of schools and colleges everywhere, Blanks said she is experiencing a strange mix of emotions.

“I am so excited to meet new people, but the start of school will not be typical. Four of six of my classes will meet online,” she said.

Blanks feels she has benefited from the many educational opportunities that have come her way and hopes that her enthusiasm for learning will positively influence others. In the past, she has sponsored a successful book drive for elementary students and collected money for teachers’ supplies. She has tutored elementary students in English and math.

“Education can be the bridge,” she said.

Blanks expects that her own education will include graduate school and maybe beyond.