WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - One of three students receiving the $1,000 Ralph Gabbard Memorial Broadcasting Scholarship is Nellie Ellis, a senior at Whitley County High School.
Nellie is a girl with big ambitions. Ambitions that she is setting into motion.
Her freshman year of high school, she became involved with Promising Appalachian Leaders in Service through Berea College. From there, she then became a part of Kentucky Youth Advocates.
"I went to Children's Advocacy Day in Frankfort because I became one of their Blueprint Priority Ambassadors. Which means that we get all of the policies that are being introduced into the legislative sessions in the state that revolve around kids," Ellis said.
Since then, her passions have only grown.
"I have organized my own voter registration day drive at the local college," said Ellis. "I am working right now into implementing a civic Saturday."
Nellie has a work ethic that is second to none. She volunteers several hours each week as a staff writer at the Times-Tribune in Corbin.
"I just really love doing that because you know, you report facts. But, you learn so much while you're doing it," Nellie added.
She spends much of her own time researching scholarships and grants to help her pay for college.
When Ellis found out she won the Ralph Gabbard scholarship, she was thrilled.
"I hope that with the money I get from this, that I can double-major in English and in communications, with an emphasis in journalism," said Ellis.
Nellie received a few acceptance letters from in-state schools and is waiting to hear back from a few Ivy-League schools in the upcoming weeks.