BUCKHANNON – The winner of the West Virginia Wesleyan College, West Virginia Scholar program plans to major in political science or work towards a law career.
Scott Depot native Brayton Boggs was declared the winner of the West Virginia Scholar program during a luncheon June 15 at WVWC.
“I’m speechless; this is just an amazing opportunity. First, I want to thank our sponsors. It’s been amazing researching all those things that go into this scholarship and all the people that came here today, so thank you all for doing this,” Boggs said. “I want to thank my family, specifically my grandparents, my mom and dad – my dad really pushed me to apply for this scholarship – so this is just amazing.”
The winner of the program receives a full ride to WVWC, and all the finalists receive a scholarship worth $1,000 more than their presidential scholarship. According to the WVWC website, a presidential scholarship is worth $17,000.
“I want to thank just everyone here, the staff, our tour guides today,” Boggs said. “It was such a beautiful campus here, and I hope that the other 14 finalists also make a decision to come here because it’s just a beautiful place where we can all learn and continue our education to [further] the well-being of West Virginia.”
Boggs said he plans to study political science, so he can help West Virginia in the future.
“I want to gain that education to go in some political field, state field, county field – just a way to help West Virginia,” he said. “My essay outlined some of the plans that I have. I feel like the political science would be the way to go. If that doesn’t work out, I may go towards a law career, because I love the law and the courtroom.”
The luncheon was the first time Boggs saw the campus in person, but he said the experience cemented his desire to attend WVWC.
“This is my first time. I was about 20 miles away at Boys State before the luncheon, and then we traveled over here today and we saw Buckhannon — it’s just a beautiful place,” Boggs said. “When I came on campus, I was like, ‘Wow, this might be the place,’ because there’s beautiful buildings all over the place, there’s people that are wanting to help, and one of the ladies in there was telling me she has kids that go here and she said the staff is like customer service, because they want to be in your life, they want you to succeed.”
Boggs said his father and grandfather frequently listen to Hoppy Kercheval on MetroNews, which is how they learned about the scholarship.
“I really could not believe it when they called my name. I figured I had a good chance because I put a lot of work into the application, but there’s 14 other people and they’re probably just amazing,” Boggs said. “They would deserve it – all of them – so I cannot believe it and as I was walking up there and saw all the sponsors, that’s when it really hit me that this will be my place.”
President of West Virginia Wesleyan College Dr. James Moore thanked all the finalists for seeking a college education.
“Thank you all for believing that a college education is something that is of value. People are questioning the value of college … and we should be questioning the value of something that’s that much of an investment,” Moore said. “I know in my case, of course, it was many, many, many, many, many years ago, it was something incredibly valuable to me. What college education does for you now is different, I think, in many ways than what it did for me when I started college in 1998.”
Moore asked the room if a college education should lead to a job and asked the room what the purpose of a job was. One student said it enables someone to provide for their family and another said it allows them to give back to their community.
“All of us need to have jobs because it’s how we contribute to society; we want that for ourselves and we want to be members of that healthy society,” Moore said. “What we’re seeing more and more out there is that students just like you are searching for meaning in the work they do and all of us here at West Virginia Wesleyan College believe the work of teaching people and preparing them for the rest of their lives is something that is incredibly valuable.”
Moore said the staff at WVWC strives to prepare their students for anything.
“I don’t have to sell any of you on college because you’re here, hoping that you’ll land here at WVWC and it will be paid for, but I want to assure you, we know here at WVWC, we have to continually look at ourselves and ask, ‘are we doing this for the right reasons?’” Moore said. “Are we doing this to the best of our abilities? Are we preparing you for the future? Because we don’t know what the job market will look like 25 years from now – even 10 years from now, maybe even five years from now – but we do know that we must get you ready for anything and that’s what we’re committed to doing in college.”
Hoppy Kercheval with West Virginia MetroNews encouraged the finalists to enjoy their college years and to learn as much as possible.
“I hope you are proud of yourselves, and I know it’s been a long time, but I remember being young and being angst-filled about whether I was really good enough, or whether I would be successful, or what other people think of me and maybe some of you have those natural angsts, but you’re going to be fine. You’ve already proven that by being here today,” Kercheval said. “By the way, college will be fun, you’re going to enjoy going to college; high school was fine, college is great. Enjoy the experience, you’re going to learn a lot and your mind is going to open up. You’re going to be exposed to a lot of great professors that are going to make you think about stuff, you’re going to have a wonderful experience and it will be particularly wonderful if you come here because this is a great, great institution, so congratulations to you all.”