Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) has awarded the Elmer and Irene Hooper Civic Leadership Scholarship to Autumn Skye Baird.
Established in memory of Elmer Hooper by his wife, Irene Hooper, and CSA, the fund provides financial support for deserving young students from rural Jackson, Macon, Haywood and Swain counties in North Carolina.
Baird, a student from Blue Ridge School in Glenville, has demonstrated excellence in volunteerism and leadership and is committed to making a difference in the community.
Baird has spent many hours the last four years working in the community — with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, in nursing homes, with the Cashiers Humane Society, with the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad, in her church, and other volunteer experiences. Within the school arena she has risen to the highest leadership role in the Beta Club, Interact Club, FCA, Volleyball, Student Government, Debate Club, Film Club, Student Ambassador, and Upward Bound, all while babysitting and holding down a part-time job, and keeping a 3.80 GPA.
Graduating as class president in her senior year, Baird is heading for Western Carolina University to major in Forensic Science, and to be active in keeping local heritage alive.