The Clarence M. Gillis Scholarship, established in memory of Mr. Gillis, an outstanding educator in the Roanoke Valley, was awarded to Ashton Tinsley on May 18, at the Community Foundation Serving SW Virginia Annual Scholarship Dinner. The scholarship is awarded each year to a deserving student who exhibits leadership and good citizenship.
Ashton, a graduating senior at Patrick Henry High, was a member of the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society. His academic excellence is evident in his 4.27 GPA. He said that he has a passion for helping others, as demonstrated by his many activities at school and in the community.
Ashton volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and Straight Talk (a nonprofit for at-risk youth). At Patrick Henry, he was the founder of the FCA Bible study group. One teacher described him as, “An exceptional student, a committed community member, and one of the most empathetic and inspirational human beings I have ever met”. His employer spoke of his incredible character, tenacity, and strong work ethic.
Ashton has experienced incredible loss and adversity with the recent death of both grandparents, his legal guardians, because of a house fire. Even with this devastating loss, Ashton plans to continue with his goals of helping others and giving back to his community by attending Liberty University where he plans to major in Religious Studies. The donors of the C.M. Gillis Scholarship wish him the best in his future pursuits.