By Lexi Rachal, Wildcats Media
PINEVILLE, La. (Wildcats Media) – Kylee Vanhoof, a senior at Tioga High School in Ball, was awarded the Smith Scholarship for 2023.
Vanhoof, who will receive a four-year scholarship that covers tuition and room and board at Louisiana Christian University, won the Jan. 28 competition against 12 other students. All contestants were evaluated by LCU faculty members based on their leadership qualities and Christian character in their written responses and the on-sight interview portion of the competition.
The Smith Scholarship began in the 1970s after Tom and Beverly Dunham began an endowment donation to honor Beverly’s mother, Elizabeth Smith.
“One of the highlights each year at LCU is the Smith Scholarship competition,” said LCU President Rick Brewer. “These high achieving students are impressive and full of promise for the future. Kylee Vanhoof proved to be the best of the best this year. I am confident Kylee and the other Smith Scholarship contestants will make a significant difference in and out of the classroom over the coming years at Louisiana Christian University.”
Vanhoof, a member of First Baptist Church, Pineville, said she was honored to win the Smith Scholarship.
“I feel blessed that I was chosen,” Vanhoof said. “I think it’s great because I know it was a tough competition, and I was up against a lot of really good people.”
She plans to double major in biology and chemistry, before pursuing medical school. While she is excited about the academic opportunities LCU has to offer, Vanhoof is equally excited about the spiritual opportunities.
Stewart Holloway, pastor of FBC Pineville, said Vanhoof will be an incredible addition to LCU, not only because of her academic success but because of her strong Christian character and ability to handle many different things at once.
“I suppose any student can be active at church, but can any student be active at church, maintain straight A’s, be a leader at her school as captain of the dance line and senior class president, and have a part-time job as a checker at a local grocery store,” Holloway said. “No, and that is why Kylee is exceptional! She can handle and excel at all her activities because she loves the Lord and life.”