Wilkes Community College announced that Tori Combs of Wilkesboro is the 2020-2021 Kyle M. Gentry Scholarship recipient. Combs received a $1,200 scholarship.

Tori Combs

Tori Combs, a Wilkes County native, recently received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at Western Carolina and is enrolled in the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at WCC. Combs plans to pursue a career in juvenile justice. “This scholarship has had a huge impact on me as I can pay my parents back sooner. Not having to worry about the financial concerns this semester has allowed me to focus more of my time around the course material and studying and I am so appreciative,” states Tori Combs.

“Kyle Gentry was a consummate professional, as Chief of Police and Sheriff he believed in education and training of law enforcement officers back when the value of that approach wasn’t as widely recognized as today. It is our (Gentry family) honor and privilege to support the education of future law enforcement officers,” stated Steve Gentry.

The Kyle M. Gentry Scholarship was established in 2019 by Steve Gentry in memory of his father Kyle. M. Gentry. Born in Alleghany County in 1927, he moved to Wilkes County in 1953 as a Patrolman/Trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol until 1961. After a short time in private business, he was appointed Chief of Police for the Town of North Wilkesboro in 1967. During his tenure there he received the state’s highest law enforcement professional award by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Council, The North Carolina Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate. Chief Gentry was one of only nine police chiefs in the State to achieve this award at the time {1974). Gentry was elected sheriff of Wilkes County in 1978 and re-elected in 1982. During his term as sheriff, he was chosen by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as law enforcement of the year {’80/’81} in North Carolina.