Huntington High School senior awarded Rotary scholarship

Old Main on Huntington campus

Benjamin Paul McElroy, a graduating senior at Huntington High School, has been awarded the Huntington Rotary Club Scholarship.

The President Stephen J. Kopp Memorial Huntington Rotary Club Scholarship provides $1,250 per year and is renewable for up to four years, for a total of $5,000, by maintaining satisfactory progress in his program of study at Marshall University.

Recipients of the Rotary Scholarship must demonstrate evidence of service to their community, as Rotary International’s philosophy is “service above self.” McElroy is involved in several community service organizations, including volunteering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Tri-State and serving as a certified volunteer umpire and coach for the Huntington Little League. He has been an altar server at Huntington St. Joseph Catholic Church for 10 years.

McElroy is currently working with another student at Huntington High in partnership with the Cabell County Career Technology Center to construct an entry marquee to the Huntington High running trail, complete with trail map, trail markers, exercise benches and picnic benches along the trail for future student use.

“My student partner and I developed this passion project and have raised money locally to pay for the construction and materials while incorporating our peers at the vocational career center, making it a complete student community project and event,” McElroy said. “Even more, my student partner and I are planning a 5K run at the end of the school year to celebrate the construction of the new entryway and enhancements to our running trail, and will donate the proceeds we raise to the Cabell Career Center students’ program for future material and equipment purchase for their support.”

McElroy, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said the greatest among us are those who serve, especially when no one else is watching.

“We live in a community affected by a health pandemic and a drug pandemic,” McElroy said. “We witness these horrific aspects in the newspaper, through social media, the evening news, yet we still have much work to do … The need for sacrificial service is the essential component of a strong and healthy community. So, when we see a need to serve, we must remember that when we serve others, we are saving more than them in the process. We are serving and saving ourselves.”

The Rotary Club of Huntington established the scholarship in December 1992, making a commitment to provide Marshall University scholarship funding to assist deserving high school graduates in the club’s geographic area, which includes Huntington High, St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, Grace Christian School and Covenant School.

The guidelines for the scholarship include academic strength, financial need, demonstrated public service while in high school and an understanding of public service as revealed in an essay. The Rotary Club of Huntington Scholarship Committee for the 2022 selection were Chair Ted Kluemper Jr., John Anderson and Dr. Chong Kim.

To date, 32 students have received this award.