Jordan Murrah knew she was getting scholarship money Monday, but she was completely taken aback when she received more than $8,000 to use for her future education.
“It was shock. I was just shaking with so much excitement,” the North Hardin High School senior said. “I’m just so proud of myself and just all the glory goes to God because without him none of this would have happened and that’s all I can do is thank God. I’m just really elated.”
Murrah was one of about 95 high school students who received some sort of scholarship money Monday night at the second Celebrating Achievement dinner hosted by the philanthropic Central Kentucky Community Foundation at Grace Heartland Church.
Sitting at tables with desserts and a copy of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss, students from 11 area high schools spent the night chatting with donors who made their scholarship possible.
Murrah won the Trooper Ponder Memorial Scholarship, the Llewellyn Memorial Scholarship, the John Dink Memorial Scholarship, and the Nandi’s Smile Scholarship. Murrah said she has personal connections to the Nandi’s Smile Scholarship and the Trooper Ponder Memorial Scholarship.
“That one really hit home for me because I run track,” Murrah said of the Trooper Ponder Memorial Scholarship. “I remember when Trooper Ponder would come to our track and he would talk to coach (James) Webb and I remember seeing him. This is really the one that means a lot to me.”
The memorial scholarship is named for former Kentucky State Police trooper and Rineyville native Cameron Ponder, who died in the line of duty in 2015.
Murrah, who was grateful for the money, plans to go to University of Louisville to major in biology and become a dentist.
“I’m going to be in school for a while,” she said.
Melissa Franklin, Murrah’s mother, was happy for her daughter.
“I’m glad she stayed focused,” she said.
Another student who received money was Hart County High School senior Aliyah Goble, who won the Owen J. Estes Sr, an award of up to $5,000. The scholarship is only for graduating Hart County School seniors who have a cumulative 2.5 grade point average. Goble said she plans to attend Lindsey Wilson College, where she will major in psychology and criminology.
“I looked into it and I think in Hart County I can be a criminal consultant,” she said. “Basically they would help the police if they needed help or they would also counsel people reinserting themselves into society.”
Lisa Parrett, wife of state Sen. Dennis Parrett, spoke about the importance of donating in a promotional video presented during the dinner.
“We’ve been so blessed,” she said. “We had our own business and we both worked hard for many years and so we feel like as part of that blessing, we have to give back.”
Around 350 people attended Monday’s event and $286,000 in scholarships was awarded.