The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach Sunset recently awarded scholarships to two local students as part of its Service Above Self scholarship program.
Brianna Howard was chosen as the 2018 Service Above Self Scholarship recipient at Nease High School, while Harrison Snowden was chosen as the recipient at Ponte Vedra High School. Each student received $1,000 toward their college education.
Howard was recognized for achieving a high level of academic success, including a class rank of 11 with a GPA of 4.68. She has served her community with more than 1,800 service hours during her high school years.
Howard has served as vice president and president of the Nease Interact Club, and hosted numerous fundraisers that helped members of the community. Through Howard’s leadership, she number of members in the Interact Club increased from 10 to 70 students. With her leadership, the Nease High School Interact Club was awarded the prestigious Zone 34 Award (covering Florida and Southern Georgia) for outstanding service at the southern regional Rotary Club Conference.
Howard has volunteered in the area arts community, working with children at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, and serving as vice president of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs, where she assisted with organizing regional and state competitions for orchestral instrumentalists. From her love of music, Howard helped start the Vibrato Music Group, where music is taught, concerts are performed and the mentoring of children and the elderly about elementary musical studies are reinforced.
“The humble notion of making a bit of a difference to mankind remains the primary reason why I serve,” said Howard.
Snowden maintains a 4.73 GPA while ranked No. 2 in his class. He has served nearly 1,700 hours throughout his high school career.
He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout by selecting a nontraditional project focused on issues of tolerance and community building. He became interested in these issues after attending a week-long program call Metrotown. This program was organized by nonprofit organization OneJax, which gathered a diverse group of high school students across Jacksonville and engaged them in activities and discussions to promote respect and understanding. Subsequently, Snowden started Metrotown-In-A-Day, which is now an ongoing event. Snowden has also volunteered and encouraged other friends to volunteer at Arbor Terrace Ponte Vedra.
Snowden’s most essential contribution to the community is his involvement in serving local domestic abuse victims. He established a fundraiser called Teens Take a Stand, which consists of a benefit concert and silent auction. Through his leadership and countless hours, he produced, directed and co-hosted the 3-hour show that benefited area domestic violence centers. In the last two years, Snowden has raised more than $30,000 to help victims of domestic abuse.
“If I am only for myself, who am I?” said Snowden.
To be eligible for the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach Sunset Service Above Self scholarship, a student must be a junior or senior in good standing at Nease High School or Ponte Vedra High School. The student should be planning to attend a four-year college, a two-year college, a trade school or a vocational/technical school with a program of study of one year or longer. Immediate relatives of Rotarians are not eligible for this scholarship.