The Heritage Classic Foundation presented $278,000 in college scholarships Tuesday to 15 Beaufort County high school seniors.
The winners gathered for lunch at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island in Shipyard Plantation to receive the awards.
Two students will receive scholarships worth $22,000 in honor of two previous chairmen of the foundation's Scholar Committee, Mike Malanick and John Zimmerman. The winners are:
Thirteen students will receive college scholarships worth $18,000 over four years. The winners are:
Though some of the students know which colleges they will attend next year, others, like Reagan Palmer, are less certain. She said she is considering the University of Alabama, the University of Florida and Wake Forest University, where her friend Charlotte Bellomy will go.
"It's so exciting to know where you're going to be next year," Palmer said, but weighing her options has been exciting too, even if it is a "nervous excitement."
She said the scholarship will allow her to consider more opportunities and choose the school that's best for her, without having to worry so much about the cost.
The scholarship winners have bright futures, said Ward Kirby, Scholar Committee chairman.
"I think that our country will be in great shape when these students complete their education," he said.
Nearly 80 students applied for the awards, which were based on academics, financial need, recommendations, student essays, community involvement and extra-curricular activities.
Since the scholarship program began in 1993, the foundation has given $3,279,600 to 252 students, including this year's scholars.
Most of the scholarships this year came from a $1.5 million grant fromVerizon Wireless awarded to the Heritage Scholar Program in 2011. This is the final year that money will be available.
The foundation plans to continue the scholarship program next year by using general operation funds raised by the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament.
The students will be introduced Monday during the 45th Heritage's opening-day ceremonies near the 18th green of Harbour Town Golf Links.
"I'm extremely proud of all of these young leaders," said Beaufort High principal Corey Murphy. "These folks are going to be successful in both college and in life."