Wilkes Community College congratulates the following 2019-2020 Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship recipients.

Aravak Hakobian – a homeschooled student, is in his first year at WCC and plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in musical performance. He plans to start his own music production company and make custom guitars.

Hannah Canter, a graduate of North Wilkes High School, is in her second year at WCC and will attend Appalachian State University in the fall of 2020. Canter will pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work, with the ultimate goal of obtaining a master’s degree in clinical counseling. Outside of school and work, she enjoys going on mission trips with her church.

Makenna Shumate, a graduate of North Wilkes High School, is currently enrolled in the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program. Shumate is dually enrolled at Lenoir-Rhyne University and Wilkes Community College to seamlessly earn her associates at WCC and finish her baccalaureate nursing education at Lenoir-Rhyne. While attending school, she works at 18N Café and volunteers with the Traphill Fire Department. Her hobbies include hunting and fishing.

Luke Sturdivant, a graduate of Wilkes Central High School, is a freshman at Wilkes Community College and plans to become an automotive technician. In his free time, he enjoys playing music.

Hailey Brown, a graduate of North Wilkes High School, is in her first year at WCC and is working toward her Associate in Science degree. Brown plans to transfer to either Wingate University or Campbell University to become a pharmacist.

Tiara Cheyenne Winters, a graduate of North Wilkes High School, is in her second year at WCC. Her career plans are to go into nursing or physical therapy. During her senior year in high school, she had the privilege to work with special needs children and helped them learn an instrument through United Sound, Inc. (a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship).

The Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship was established in 1993 by Trisha L. Austin Stanley. To date, the scholarship has helped 99 students with a total of $42,100 awarded in scholarship money. Funds for the scholarship are raised through the annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest held at MerleFest.

For more information on scholarships or donating to the WCC Foundation, contact the WCC Foundation at 336-838-6491.

Aravek Hakobian


Hannah Canter


Makenna Shumate


Luke Sturdivant


Hailey Brown


Tiara Winters