Tillery family gives scholarships
Published 7:21 pm Saturday, April 2, 2016
Family and friends of the late C. Faye Tillery gathered Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront to keep her memory alive by recognizing the achievements of those in the community, particularly young scholarship winners and applicants.
Tillery was a beloved Suffolk Parks and Recreation employee who invested her time and energy in young people. She worked to help them stay active by organizing basketball and softball games at places like Birdsong Recreation Center and Peanut Park.
Her efforts to help the youth understand what it meant to be a team player and give back to the community persisted even as she battled cervical cancer.
Email newsletter signup
She passed away more than 17 years ago, but her family has helped remind people of her legacy in a variety of ways, among them the C. Faye Tillery Youth Volunteer Scholarships.
“We only had nine participants this year compared to 15 or 16 last year,” said Tillery’s niece, Vonda Holman-Carter. “So, we invited everyone, whether you were a winner or not a winner, and we wanted to honor everyone, wanted to recognize all of them, so they would realize that it was worth participating, and that way they would be encouraged to re-apply.”
The Tillery family gave four students a total of $1,500 in scholarships this year. Two winners are high school students and two are middle school students.
Suffolk Christian Academy sophomore Katie Glover was one of the high school scholarship recipients.
“It gives recognition to everybody that volunteers,” Glover said of the scholarship. “Also this scholarship is going to help me further down the road for college and applying for stuff like that.”
Holman-Carter said she knew Glover’s would be a winner when she started reading the student’s submission.
“She has two pages of just academic awards,” Holman-Carter said. “She had a whole page of community service stuff. Her reference letters were off the chart. These people knew her — they talked about the good and the bad, and they said, ‘She’s not perfect. She recognizes when she’s over the top, and she brings it back down.’”
“It sounds like she’s just ambitious, and she’s going to excel at whatever she does,” Holman-Carter continued. “She’s off the chart. Any parent would want to say, ‘That’s my child.’ I told her mother she has to be super-proud of her.”
Glover’s mother, Leslie Glover, said her daughter “is really a driven student. She strives hard, and when she saw the scholarship that was offered, she said, ‘I’m going to try for it, Mom.’ And I said, ‘Go for it.’”
“She would love to become valedictorian of her class, but we’ll see what happens there, and she’s also very competitive on the sports field, as well.”
Glover will receive $600 through the scholarship.
Suffolk Christian Academy senior Alexis Thompson, who finished just behind Glover in points to become the other high school scholarship recipient, will also receive $600.
“Alexis was great, as well,” Holman-Carter said. “She exceled academically, she participated a lot. She did a lot of extracurricular (work). She never mentioned in her essay that her dad had passed in the midst of the school year, and she continued to excel, but one of the teachers did. They mentioned that, in spite of her dad passing way, she continued to keep on track of everything that she was doing in school. She never missed a beat.”
Holman-Carter said Glover and Thompson are a lot alike.
“They’re just good kids,” she said. “They’re just the kind of students that everybody dreams of having.”
Seventh-graders Caitlyn Russell and Trinity Perry were the middle-school scholarship recipients.