December Newsletter

The Crosby Scholars staff wishes you a heartfelt happy and safe holiday season!

A Year in Review

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Benjamin Franklin

The Rowan County Crosby Scholars enrolled 2,274 students in our program in only our second year! With students enrolling from every middle and high school in the Rowan-Salisbury school system, this number represents an increase of more than 500 students over last year's initial enrollment. We are excited that the program has grown. We are especially pleased to have an increased number of middle school students because we can begin reinforcing the importance of the choices they are making and how those choices will impact their futures...including their future college options.

Crosby Academies

Crosby Academies With Junior Academy and 9th/10th Academy completed, we are focusing on our 6th-8th graders. In partnership with Education 4 All, Crosby Academies are taught by qualified teachers who incorporate hands-on activities. Students from across the county come together to work individually and in teams.

Students should register for academies through their Student Portal at Check our website or student portal for upcoming dates.

In our first year, Crosby Scholars students performed a total of more than 6,000 community service hours

Our students are dedicated, and we are very proud of their commitment to our community. Please check our website for community service opportunities. Also check with local non-profit agencies who are frequently looking for volunteers to help with events and projects.

While the program requirement is only 2 hours of community service, we have many students who go above and beyond in giving back to our community. We would like to recognize several students who have performed 20 hours or more this year. And the deadline is not until April 15! Our special recognition and thanks goes to:

Garrett Alewine - 75 hours (Southeast Middle School), Braxton Atwell - 26 hours (South Rowan High School), Claudia Barger - 20 hours (West Rowan High School), Sara Coe - 29 hours (Jesse Carson High School), Emma Cooler - 50 hours (West Rowan High School), Rebecca Gainey - 245 hours (Jesse Carson High School), Kayla Honeycutt - 33.75 hours (Salisbury High School), Susannah Horton - 24 hours (Jesse Carson High School), Jordan Smith - 40 hours (East Rowan High School), Brianne Snider - 48 hours (East Rowan High School), Sara Wong - 29.37 hours (Jesse Carson High School).

BBQ, Bands, & Boots

Crosby Scholars held our first community fundraiser, BBQ, Bands, & Boots in September. It was a huge success, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors, and attendees. Jim N' Nicks provided barbecued pork, chicken and sides. The evening featured some unique, fun activities such as a bourbon truck, "heads or tails" game for a chance to win boots, and a flash mob! Guests enjoyed great music from Life Size, a Catawba College-formed band, and Mipso, a regional favorite bluegrass band. Visit our website for more photos of this year's event.

Proceeds supported our Last Dollar Grant program - a program with which we hope to offer scholarships to our graduates with unmet financial need.

Save the Date for next year's BBQ, Bands, & Boots for Saturday, September 26 in the F&M Trolley Barn - we'll see you there!

"First Generation" film screening

Crosby Scholars, in partnership with Catawba College and through the generosity of Bruce and Kathie McDuffie Sanborn, hosted a screening of the film, First Generation in November. This award-winning documentary tells the story of four high school students who break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education. Shot over the course of three years, and featuring some of our nation’s top educational experts, it explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low income students, and how their success has major implications for the future of our nation.
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College Week - Knox Middle and North Rowan Middle schools

Crosby Scholars is committed to helping its students learn more about colleges and possible careers.

Along with Banicca Watkins and Emily Harrison from Communities in Schools and the faculty and staff, Program Coordinator Krystal Stukes helped bring College Week to Knox and North Rowan Middle Schools. College Week included each school’s very own college fair. The emphasis at both locations was on building a college-going culture… with college door decorating contests, teachers wearing t-shirts from their alma maters, a Favorite College shirt day for students, and each school's very own college fair where representatives from local colleges talked to students about college admission. Livingstone College cheerleaders helped build the excitement by awarding the prizes for the contests. Only 17% of our population over the age of 25 in Rowan County has a Bachelor’s degree. We are constantly looking for ways to partner within our schools to introduce the concept of college and get our students excited about it.

Middle School College & Career Exploration

Another way Crosby Scholars is getting their students excited is with field trips which highlight different career options. This year, 8th graders from China Grove, Corriher Lipe, and Southeast Middle Schools who successfully completed the Crosby Scholars requirements as 7th graders got to choose between a trip to learn about NASCAR careers and health science occupations.

The NASCAR exploration trip included a tour of NASCAR’s Research & Development facility in Concord and a tour of the Motorsports facilities at UNC-Charlotte. The NASCAR R&D facility is a state-of-the-art facility devoted to safety initiatives of motorsports. Students toured the computer-aided design and modeling, engineering, fabrication, and machine shops. They learned about the many different career opportunities from higher educational careers such as engineering to technical careers as machinists and tire technicians, and watched a safety test being performed on seat belts. The Motorsports facility at UNCC is one of the most innovative “hands-on” programs in the Southeast. Students were exposed to possible educational opportunities in sports marketing or motorsports engineering. Their 16,500 facility houses motorsports research including a water tunnel, wind tunnel, computational labs, and other research labs.

Students visiting Cabarrus Health Sciences College learned about career opportunities in health science fields such as occupational therapy, medical assisting, and nursing. Hands-on activities included working with life-like patients in a hospital simulation room and learning the appropriate way to enfold and sterilize surgical instruments. The educational path and the many degree options of the health sciences fields were discussed with the student. We have planned a college or career enrichment activity at each middle school this year. We have Erwin Middle and West Rowan Middle on our schedule for next semester are are looking into some exciting possibilities for our students at these schools.

Did You Know...

  • Only 13% of the population in Rowan County has an Associate's Degree, only 17% has a Bachelor's Degree, and only 7% has a Master's Degree?
  • The average weekly earnings for a person with a Master's Degree is $1,174; for a person with a Bachelor's Degree $938; for a person with an Associate's Degree is $834; and for a person with no post-secondary education is less than $500.
  • 57% of our reporting students will be the first in their families to go to college.
  • By donating your gently used clothing, books, toys, furniture, and household goods to Goodwill Industries, you are helping support Crosby Scholars. Both organizations share goals and mission statements. Visit our website to read about our strategic alliance.

Our First Senior Class!

2016 will be a big year for Crosby Scholars - a year that marks our first graduating class! We are excited about working one-on-one with our Crosby Scholars seniors and helping them navigate through the final stretch of college applications and financial aid packages.

We need your help! We will need volunteers to be Senior Advisors, working one-on-one with our graduating seniors next year, meeting once or twice a month. Begin the process by filling out the volunteer form on our website. Please call our office at 704-762-3512 if you are able to help.

How Can You Help?

Crosby Scholars is grateful for the support of our community. If you are looking for ways to help, please consider the following:

  • Named Scholarships - designate a scholarship in honor/memory of a person or organization, and help transform the lives of our graduating Crosby Scholars
  • Senior Advisors - providing one-on-one mentoring/advising to our first senior Crosby Scholars class, helping guide them through the college application and financial aid process
  • Grade Advisors - work with Crosby Scholars high school students by giving them a foundation of knowledge to help prepare them for their senior year and helping them achieve their goals of post-secondary education
  • Donate to our Last Dollar Grant Program - a program which we hope to offer scholarships to graduating Crosby Scholars with unmet financial need.
  • Volunteer for a specific Crosby Scholars event - we welcome volunteers, and have several opportunities for volunteers including upcoming middle school college tours.

Please call our office at 704-762-3512 if you have questions or would like to volunteer.

Parent Corner

Please be sure to have your student check their student portal on a regular basis. We post valuable information about program requirements, community service opportunities, and

Encourage your student to attend Grade Advisor Meetings. While not mandatory, these meetings are strongly encouraged. Your student will have the opportunity to receive important information and speak with advisors.

Don't forget - your student must have a minimum of 2 hours of community service. Call local agencies for volunteer opportunities. Community service forms are available online on our website. Fill it out, get it signed, and mail or fax it back to us.

Middle school academies are also a program requirement. Check our website for grade-specific academy dates.

Crosby Scholars is a unique college access program dedicated to offering free help to students in public middle school and high school in Rowan County. Our goal is to help students prepare academically, personally, and financially for college admission and other post-secondary opportunities that are best suited to a student's needs, aptitudes, and dreams.

For more information about our program, visit

Board of Directors

Gwin Barr, Chair

Kathy Rusher, Vice Chair

Curtis Bland, Treasurer

Nancy Barkemeyer, Emily Blanton, Dr. Bret Busby, Dr. Windsor Eagle, Art Gibel, Dr. Judy Grissom, Dr. Jacqueline Gray, Michael Hanzlik, Carol Herndon, Brien Lewis, Mona Lovett, Dr. Lynn Moody, Marvin Moore, Mary Ponds, Bob Setzer, Dr. Carol Spalding, Jason Walser, Kelly Withers