June 10, 2013

Prestigious Milton Jewell scholarship
goes to Hatteras valedictorian


“Surf, Eat, Sleep, Gotta Love Kinnakeet.” So goes Kermit Farrow Jr.’s Google+ tagline. 

But don’t mistake this Cape Hatteras senior for a classic beach bum or surfer dude.

Last month at the senior awards ceremony for his graduating class, Kermit was awarded the prestigious Milton A. Jewell scholarship, the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s most competitive merit-based award.

The $5,000 scholarship is renewable if the recipient maintains a 3.0 grade point average. That should present no problem for Kermit, who has a 4.24 GPA and is the valedictorian of his class.

The Milton A. Jewell scholarship was created by bequest by the late Ruth Medgyes of Southern Shores in honor of her grandfather. Though typically awarded to just one graduating senior from Dare County each year, this year the Outer Banks Community Foundation broke tradition and announced two new Milton Jewell scholarships.

“You may have heard that this scholarship was already awarded this year,” announced Community Foundation board member Scott Leggat at the awards ceremony at the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club. “However, this year we had a candidate here at Cape Hatteras who was so amazing the committee decided to award a second $5,000 Milton Jewell scholarship.”

What was so amazing about Kermit?

“This young man is our quintessential Milton Jewell scholar,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “He’s not just a great student, but a true community leader. He logged over 400 hours of volunteer time last year and spoke passionately about civic engagement in his interview.”

Kermit will attend North Carolina State University in the fall, where he plans to pursue a degree in ocean engineering.

“Ocean engineering is about building things in the water such as jetties,” said Kermit. The young man also plans to enroll in the university’s Navy ROTC program.

A member of the National Honor Society, Kermit is a firefighter with the Frisco Volunteer Fire Department and a first responder with Hatteras Island Rescue. “I’ve belonged to the departments for almost two years,” said Kermit. “I joined when I was 16.”

When it comes to having fun, Kermit heads to the water to either fish or surf. He also works at Real Water Sports selling surfboards and kiteboards.

“Sometimes, I commercial fish with my family,” said Kermit. “My family is one of the oldest on the island.” Kermit is the son of Kermit and Angela Farrow, and the grandson of Ervin and Audry Farrow, all of Hatteras Island, and the grandson of Fred and Elaine Petito of Alexandria, Va.

The second Milton A. Jewell winner this year was Zachary Owen, the valedictorian of First Flight High School’s graduating class.

Both Milton Jewell winners epitomize the diversity of talents, culture, and life styles on the Outer Banks. While Kermit wants to explore building below the oceans, Zack wants to explore the sky. Zack will pursue a degree in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech in the fall.

Active in the Boy Scouts throughout his high school career, Zack earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a sophomore.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation awarded six scholarships to graduating Cape Hatteras seniors, and $115,000 in scholarships total in 2013 to high school and college students across Dare and Currituck counties. The Community Foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships to Outer Banks students since 1984.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is open to anyone who wishes to establish a scholarship endowment or contribute to one of the foundation’s existing scholarship funds. For information about scholarship funds, call the Community Foundation at 261-8839, or visit www.obcf.org.

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