Fifteen high school seniors from across North Carolina and other states, including four from the Charlotte region, will make up UNC Charlotte’s sixth class of Levine Scholars when they enroll in the fall.
All will receive full scholarships with other perks – including summer experiences – to study at UNCC for four years. The program is worth $105,000 for in-state students and $155,000 for the four out-of-state students, similar to the venerable Morehead-Cain scholarships at UNC Chapel Hill and the Park scholarships at N.C. State.
The scholarship, created by Charlotte philanthropists Leon and Sandra Levine, covers the cost of tuition and all fees, housing and meals and a laptop computer. Each scholar gets $8,000 to support community service work during school.
In 2009, the Levines donated $9.3 million over 10 years from their family foundation to seed the merit scholarships, with a goal of at least 60 Levine Scholars on campus by last year. That goal met, the Levines were so impressed with the scholars they raised their commitment by another $13 million to renew, and expand, the program at least through 2024.
The idea was to draw the brightest students to UNCC and Charlotte, helping them develop into public service leaders.
Starting next year, each class of scholars will grow by five to 20 scholars. By 2020, the school expects to have 80 Levine Scholars on campus.
By then, the 425-bed Sandra and Leon Levine Hall will be operating on campus to house the scholars and students in the university’s honors program. The hall’s construction began weeks ago, and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2016. It will also house administrative offices for the Levine Scholar program and seminar rooms for both programs.
Nearly 2,300 high school seniors from 26 states were nominated to compete for the scholarships. Each went through a lengthy nomination and interview process.
Among the 15 incoming scholars, the four from the Charlotte region are:
▪ Beth Kingaby, Central Cabarrus High in Concord; daughter of Evan Hyser and Shellie Kingaby-Hyser.
▪ Joseph Obeid, Hough High in Huntersville; son of Nihad and Jodi Obeid.
▪ Tyler Rapp, East Gaston High in Mount Holly; son of Michael and Nikki Rapp.
▪ Robert Russell, Mallard Creek High in Charlotte; son of Matthew and Maria Russell.
Others from N.C. high schools
▪ Yousef Abdel-Rahman, Franklin Academy in Wake Forest; son of Nabil Abdel-Rahman and Elham Idris.
▪ Vidhya Balasubramanian, Enloe High in Cary; daughter of Thiagarajan Balasubramanian and Dhana Savithri.
▪ Patrick Butler, Millbrook High in Raleigh; son Joseph and Alexandra Butler.
▪ Seth Flynn, Mountain Heritage High in Burnsville; son of Michael and Lisa Flynn.
▪ Christopher McKinnis, Pinecrest High in Pinehurst; son of Douglas and Paula McKinnis.
▪ Lazar Trifunovic, Atkins Academic and Technology High in Winston-Salem; son of Milentije Trifunovic and Jasmina Varagic.
▪ Sydney Welch, East Burke High in Morganton; daughter of Patrick and Jackie Welch.
▪ Eddie Angelbello, Saint Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; son of Eduardo and Patricia Angelbello.
▪ Leysha Caraballo, Pembroke Pines Charter High in Miramar, Fla.; daughter of Miguel and Brenda Caraballo.
▪ Taelor Malcolm, Counterpane School in Fayetteville, Ga.; daughter of Rohan and Sandra Malcolm.
▪ Danielle Miller, Downington STEM Academy, Downington, Pa.; daughter of David and Kelly Miller.