Case Farms, through the J. Leroy Cook Memorial Scholarship Program, has awarded $8,000 in scholarships to four children of Case Farms’ employees. Through the scholarship program, awards are made directly to the student’s designated college or university.
The memorial scholarship program aims to recognize academic excellence and achievement at school and in the community, encourage pursuit of a post-secondary education, and provide financial assistance to qualified individuals. Established in 2005 by Case Farms founder Thomas Shelton, the J. Leroy Cook Memorial Scholarship Program honors long-time Case Farms’ employee Leroy Cook, a former senior vice president of operations at the company. To date, Case Farms has awarded $73,000 in college scholarships to children of employees.
“We are very impressed with this year’s outstanding group of students receiving scholarships,” said Kevin Phillips, president and chief operating officer at Case Farms. “They are dedicated, hard-working smart young men and women, who have a bright future ahead of them. We are delighted to award these four individuals with scholarships for all their scholastic achievements and public service efforts.”
The recipients of the 2017 J. Leroy Cook Memorial Scholarships are:
- Anthony R. Bishop, son of Tony Bishop, refrigeration manager at the Case Farms Goldsboro, N.C. facility. He will graduate from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics this spring with an impressive 5.173 GPA and enter The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall as a chemistry major.
- Emma D. Smart is the daughter of David Smart, broiler supervisor at the Case Farms Morganton, N.C. facility. She will enter The University of North Carolina at Wilmington this fall as a biology and chemistry major. As a student at East Burke High School, Smart was chosen from her congressional district to attend the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where she worked as a student ambassador.
- Rita Rai, daughter of Ganga Rai, a production team member at the Case Farms Canton, Ohio facility. Rai will graduate from North High School in Akron, Ohio, and will enter Stark State College this fall where she plans on studying nursing. While in high school, she served on student council and volunteered with the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron.
- Whisper Z. Smith is the daughter of Turley Joe Smith, a production team member at the Case Farms Morganton facility. Smith will enroll at UNC Asheville as a junior this fall, having graduated from Burke Middle College high school and Western Piedmont Community College. During her high school years, she served as student council secretary, was a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honors Society, Key Club and Spirit Club.
Applicants underwent a competitive process, completing a detailed questionnaire that was evaluated by a scholarship committee of independent professionals outside of Case Farms. Each year, winners are announced at the company’s Service Awards Dinner, an annual banquet recognizing long-tenured employees at each of the Case Farms’ four facilities (in Morganton; Goldsboro; Winesburg, Ohio; and Canton).