Knott County Senior wins Appalachian Connection Scholarship

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 6:19 PM EDT
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As the end of the academic year approaches some high school seniors are now looking forward to the next phase, college

The financial responsibility that comes with going to college can become discouraging, especially during these times of uncertainty.

"Even though a lot of stuff stopped and it seemed like the world stopped turning, some things still have to go on like the AP testing and school curriculum," said Brysen Honeycutt, a senior at Knott County Central High School.

In Knott County the academic year ends on Friday, but not for Brysen. He is studying for his AP exams, that end next week.

"They're definitely a lot more difficult in their studies, but it pays off in the end."

Also paying off, his dedication. Brysen is the 2020 recipient of the Appalachian Connection Scholarship awarding him $10,000.

"I am really grateful to receive that because a lot of the scholarships and stuff can really alleviate a lot of what can be a pressure in college."

Although he received academic scholarships this scholarship will help with expenses such as room and board.

The focus of the Appalachian Connection Scholarship is giving back to the Appalachian community.

"Things like the academic team have always pushed me to learn new topics and challenge myself intellectually. Beta Club and National Honors Society have helped me be more involved in the community," said Honeycutt.

John Cornett, a Hazard native and President of Appalachian Connection says the idea for the scholarship came to him and a friend back in 2015.

"We want to make sure that someone is going to come back and help since this is our way of helping since we did not come back. When we left the economy kind of took a downturn and things did not seem to be going as well as it was when we were there so we should do something to try to help," Cornett said.

Brysen wants to be an engineer to help boost the region, such as tourism.

"The problems that we face in Eastern Kentucky are that is not easy to get to, so we need more infrastructure," said Cornett.

"And that was one of the reasons why I really wanted to become involved in it is because that is also something that has been important to me," said Honeycutt.

In his essay Brysen explained what he would want to contribute to Eastern Kentucky by returning. That was only one part of submitting his application. His GPA, SAT/ACT scores, transcript and letters of recommendation were also taken into consideration.

Letters that Cornett says are important to the applicant's process.

"The letters of recommendation matter a lot there are some that people write two or three paragraphs. So without saying a whole lot you are kind of saying something if you just write two to three paragraphs."

All of Brysen's letters pointing out that he could help make a difference.

The scholarship was open to seniors in Knott and Perry county.