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story.lead_photo.caption Annie Grace Westerman, a recent Fountain Lake 2020 graduate, has been selected to receive a $5,500 scholarship from the Murphy Family Endowment Fund, a component fund of the Hot Springs Area Community Foundation. She will be attending Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. - Submitted photo

The Grant Review Committee of the Hot Springs Area Community Foundation recently selected Annie Grace Westerman to receive a $5,500 scholarship from the Roy and Betty Murphy Family Endowment Fund.

The fund was established in 2003 by Betty J. and Roy L. Murphy Sr. to award scholarships to employees and children, stepchildren or grandchildren of the employees of Mid-South Engineering headquartered in Hot Springs.

Following the company's growth, scholarships have also been awarded in its offices in Cary, N.C., and Orono, Maine.

"Since 2003, over $303,876 has been awarded due to the Murphy family's generosity and belief in the education of its' employees and their children. Unlike most scholarships they are renewable each year up to a period of four years," a news release said.

To be chosen for the scholarship award, the student must have merit and the potential to succeed and be a post high school or GED graduate. The scholarship can be for customary college expenses, including room, board, tuition, fees and books at institutions including licensed trade schools, vocational schools, and accredited colleges within the United States.

Westerman is a recent graduate of Fountain Lake High School and ranked number three in her class with a 4.0577 grade point. She will attend Arkansas State University this fall, majoring in with a double major in counseling and art.

"With her degree in counseling and using Art Therapy, an integrative mental health and creative understanding type of counseling, she feels called to be a counselor or therapist for children and teens who have experienced trauma or abuse," the release said.

Westerman held many leadership roles while in high school, including class president of her senior class of 2020, and was a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, FCA, Key Club and Art Club.

After graduating, she stated in her essay, "I plan on counseling in areas where my service is most needed, with Hot Springs as number one on my list."

The Arkansas Community Foundation helps families, companies and individuals set up scholarship funds to benefit Arkansas students seeking higher education. "Donors partner with the Community Foundation to create private scholarship funds because they deeply care about Arkansas' students and want to invest in their education. The donors determine the size and eligibility criteria for the scholarships they create. Currently over 700 scholarships are managed by the Arkansas Community Foundation on their behalf," the release said.

Email Joyce Whitfield, Hot Springs executive director, at [email protected] or call 501-620-4008 for more information.

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