Ashe County High School graduate Madelyne Crawford, daughter of Curtis and Dawn Crawford of West Jefferson, and Watauga High School graduate Sierra Adcox, daughter of Chris and Amy Adcox of Boone, have been named 2016 recipients of the LifeStore Bank and Insurance Merit Scholarship. LifeStore awards this $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior in Ashe and Watauga counties based on a combination of academic achievement, financial need and extracurricular activities.

Madelyne’s academic accomplishments include being an Honor Graduate and finishing in the top ten percent of her class. She served as a Junior Marshall, a Beta Club member and member of student council and 2016 yearbook editor.  She has been a member of Upward Bound through Appalachian State University throughout her high school career. Upward Bound provides yearlong courses and opportunities for students to succeed in high school and become better prepared for college. She has also been active in the Interact club, played soccer at Ashe County High School, as well as being active in  Pine Swamp Baptist Church choir.  Madelyne credits her time in physical therapy after a soccer injury as an influence on her career path. She plans to attend Campbell University, pursue a double major in Biology and Phycology then earn a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy.

Madelyne Crawford

Sierra has a love for music and the band at Watauga High School where she has excelled and served as a section leader. She also received the John Phillip Sousa Award and was recognized for being a dedicated hard working member of the band. She has provided service to her community through volunteering at the Hospitality House and has also been a member of Upward Bound through Appalachian State University throughout her high school career. Upward Bound provides yearlong courses and opportunities for students to succeed in high school and become better prepared for college. Sierra says, “I fell in love with Wingate University when our Upward Bound Group went there.” As a result she will be pursuing a degree from Wingate. She plans to study Elementary Education and she credits her second grade teacher at Hardin Park for influencing her to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. 

Sierra Adcox

In addition to the Merit Scholarships, LifeStore also awards LifeStore Family Scholarships to employees’ children who graduate high school with plans to continue their education. This year LifeStore awarded one employee scholarship to a Watauga High student, Molly Gilleskie, and three employee scholarships to Ashe County students, Dillon Harris, Dylan Howell and Katelyn Cox. Each of these students will receive up to $2,000 in scholarship money to continue their education. 

Molly is the daughter of Mark and Margaret Gilleskie of Blowing Rock. Mark is a Mortgage Loan Officer at LifeStore Bank. Molly will begin her college career at Caldwell Community and has plans to transfer to Appalachian State University where she will major in Criminal Justice. She credits Officer Adams, Watauga High’s SRO Officer; and Ron Brown of the Blowing Rock Police Department as major influences on her career. She has a passion for serving others and served as one of the student leaders in the Empty Bowls event which raises thousands of dollars to help fight hunger. She is also very involved in the Youth group at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church and feels a special connection to her church family citing her appreciation for their support and guidance.

Molly Gilleskie

Katelyn Cox is the daughter of Chad and Michelle Cox who works as a Financial Consultant in the West Jefferson branch. Katelyn plans to earn an associate’s degree from Wilkes Community College and transfer to Appalachian State University to earn a degree in Elementary Education. She has always loved working with young children and wants to teach elementary students after college. While in high school Katelyn has been a JV and Varsity cheerleader and a member of the National Arts Honor Society. She has volunteered at community events such as Springfest and assisted with teaching Vacation Bible School. She is also an active member of the Bald Mountain Baptist Church youth.

Katelyn Cox

Dillon Harris is the son of Tracy Howell, a Financial Consultant at Mt Jefferson. John Howell is his stepfather. His father is Mason Harris and his stepmother is Chrissy Harris all of West Jefferson. Dillon plans to take college transfer courses at Wilkes Community and has plans to transfer to William Peace College. He has a passion for writing and literature and will pursue a degree in literature. He also enjoys music and devoted all 4 years of high school to playing in the band. He participated in both marching and symphonic band. Dillon volunteered in a number of community service projects, helped at the Ashe County Library and earned his Red Cord at graduation for donating at least 3 pints of blood.

Dillon Harris

Also receiving an employee scholarship is Dylan Howell, Tracy Howell's stepson. His father is John Howell, his mother is Elaine May and his stepfather is Curtis May of Grassy Creek. Dylan is exploring career opportunities in welding as well as Wilkes Community College. Dylan was an active member of the Junior ROTC all four years in high school, earning the distinction of Master Sergeant and Commander of the Honor Guard. Dylan has served the community at many functions through his involvement in JROTC and the New River Fire Department. He is also a member of Smethport Baptist Church.

Dylan Howell

“High School graduation is such a special time for our community and LifeStore is happy to be able to help these students further their education,” said Judy Current, Marketing and Public Relations Director. “We also support education through events in our local schools and partnerships within the classrooms; we’re proud to be a part of our schools.”