Keelin Howes of Buckhannon learns she is the recipient of a four-year scholarship in the ‘Do It for BabyDog: Save a life, Change your life’ Sweepstakes Wednesday. Keelin currently attends Glenville State College where she is working toward a degree in education. / Photo courtesy Keelin Howes

Winning the ‘BabyDog’ sweepstakes college scholarship puts one Upshur County woman’s future goals within reach

BUCKHANNON – We have a winner!

Keelin Howes, who is from Buckhannon and attends Glenville State College, said she received a call Wednesday morning from her boyfriend, who said he had very exciting news for her.

Howes said he told her she was one of Wednesday’s winners in the ‘Do It for BabyDog: Save a life, Change your life’ Sweepstakes!” Howes won a full college scholarship, which will enable her to finish her last year-and-a-half at GSC without stressing about finances, she told My Buckhannon.

Howes said Wednesday she could not be happier to have won the contest.

“I did not expect to win anything when I registered for the ‘Do It for BabyDog’ contest,” she admitted. “I thought my chances were one in a million but decided to give it a ‘shot.’ I just did not expect it.”

She said when she first heard the news she had won, she thought maybe there was another Keelin Howes in the state that had won.

“I do not think my voice has ever gotten any higher than when my boyfriend told me I won,” Howes said. “I usually sign up for raffles and try to win things, but I have never been selected as a winner before. This is one of the biggest things I could win, and it is so exciting.”

Howes winning the scholarship makes her future dreams and goals seem more accessible.

“This will make things so much less stressful,” she said. “I so appreciate getting this help. It is the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

Howes is a local girl who spent her youth in Upshur County in Buckhannon.

“I grew up in Buckhannon and graduated in 2018 from Buckhannon-Upshur High School,” she shared. “I was a member of the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Marching Band and did a lot of fun activities. I had a lot of awesome teachers at B-UHS that helped make school fun.”

Howes currently attends Glenville State College where she studies education. She said her inspiration to take up education came from the many teachers who helped her get through her elementary, middle and high school years. They all made her realize she was important and capable, she said.

“I want to pass that feeling on to students I will teach in the future,” Howes said, adding that all the teachers she had while in Upshur County Schools inspired her. Howes attended Washington District Elementary, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle and Buckhannon-Upshur High schools.

She is currently beginning her fourth year at Glenville State College and said she hopes to complete her undergraduate studies in four-and-a-half years. Knowing she will not have to worry about paying for her last year-and-a-half of college is ‘awesome,’ Howes said.

“I have struggled with student loans, trying to get through school and staying in school,” Howes said. “This will make things so much easier. Now I know I will be able to continue going to school.”S

She got the COVID-19 vaccine to protect herself and other people, especially more vulnerable individuals, she said.

“I did not want to wear a mask any longer,” Howes said. “I also work with a lot of older people, and I wanted to make sure I did not get anybody sick.”

When she completes her undergraduate degree in education, which has an emphasis in social studies, she said she plans to go to graduate school.

“Eventually, I would like to become a college professor,” Howes said. “I would like to go anywhere to teach. I enjoy learning, researching and teaching.”

While at Glenville State College, Howes works in the archives section of the college library.

“I get to scan old photos and learn about the history of Glenville,” she said. “That is really fun to do.”

Aside from her work and studies, Howes said she enjoys acrylic painting and music.

“I played clarinet in high school and play clarinet here at GSC,” she said. “I really enjoy working with the arts and humanities.”

Keelin Howes is the daughter of Jessica and James Lynch of Buckhannon and Jason Howes of Buckhannon.

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