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By TEENA DRAKE
Special to The Trimble Banner
Congratulations are in order for 2014 Trimble County High School graduate Conner Ball for receiving the Otis A. Singletary Scholarship—one of the most prestigious scholarships offered at the University of Kentucky. Through perseverance and a strong support group Conner has received a gigantic jumpstart on his educational goals. The opportunities that accompany this honor are amazing.
The Singletary scholarship is the highest attainable undergraduate scholarship at the institution. It is named in honor of the late Otis A. Singletary, who was president of the University of Kentucky from August 1969 to June 30, 1987, having served longer than any of his predecessors.
Singletary scholars receive tuition, room and board, a personal stipend for four years, an iPad2, and $2,000 toward a summer abroad program. Students who receive this will be automatically enrolled in the honors program. Keith Hautala, Honors program, writer of an article in University of Kentucky News (July 5, 2012), wrote, “Named for former President Otis A. Singletary, who challenged each student to leave their indelible imprint on UK, this prestigious honor is awarded to the best and the brightest incoming students who have exhibited exemplary academic talent and a passion for leadership and service in their community.”
Trimble County High School and the community are honored to have Connor Ball as one of these recipients. This special award did not fall into his lap. Ball explains, “The process works like this: you work your butt off for four years, get the required ACT score, fill out an application, write essays, and finally interview for the scholarship. Waiting for the interview was the hardest part for me because I knew that the only thing in my way of a four-year full-ride scholarship was an hour-long interview. I was stressed about it all week and made myself sick the night before the interview. When I finally got to the interview, I did fine and from there, I could only wait to hear back from UK.”
Now that the hurdle of paying for college is out of the way Conner plans to spend his days studying, meeting new people, and enjoying the wonderful blessing he received. As for his career interest, it changes on a daily basis due to his high interest in life opportunities. However, he will explore all options and soon find his niche.
When asked if he could do anything what would he choose, Ball responded, “I want to make a difference in America and abroad. I want to see a happier, more creative, more appreciative America. My goal is to make small changes that will help make this transition a reality.”
Not a bad goal, to see happier people in America and around the world. He has talent, ambition, a good head on his shoulders, intelligence and kindness; I believe if anyone can make this goal a reality he can.
Words of Wisdom from Conner Ball: “Go for it. Always just go for it, if you want to say something, say it. If you want to do something, do it. Study hard. Meet new people. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Be the best self you can be.”
His favorite quote: “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”
Connor gives credit for his success to family, friends, coaches and teachers. He believes if it weren’t for this strong support group, he would not have striven to be the best he could be. “I want to thank my family, friends, teachers, and anyone who has put up with me and/or made me who I am today,” he said.