Williamson College Student Carli Cannon Awarded Scholarship from Scarlett Family Foundation
Williamson College Student Carli Cannon Awarded Scholarship from Scarlett Family Foundation FRANKLIN, Tenn. (April 13, 2015) – Carlena “Carli” Cannon, a 20-year-old Franklin resident and student at Williamson College, has received a $7,500 scholarship from the Scarlett Family Foundation, which provides educational support to Middle Tennessee students of all ages.
Cannon, a sophomore business administration major, was notified in February that she was a finalist after submitting an essay about her entrepreneurial aspirations. When she learned in March that she had been awarded the scholarship, Cannon said she was honored and “utterly thrilled.”
The scholarship is awarded based on merit and need, and is renewable each year that she is a student at the college.
“This was an unexpected surprise, and I’m so thankful,” Cannon said. “It’s a huge blessing for my parents as well because they have been helping with my college expenses.”
Cannon, who has been doing mission work since she was 16, said that on a church-group trip to the Dominican Republic she saw an “immense need” there, particularly for children with disabilities because “life can be especially hard for them in impoverished countries.” Their plight, she said, “touched my heart.”
After a 2012 Youth With A Mission (YWAM) trip to India, “There were so many things that were heavy on my heart when I returned, and I wanted to make a difference,” Cannon said, adding that what stood out to her most was the children who were in negative circumstances.
Her essay focuses on tying her mission experience to the business world, and emphasizes the importance of people being educated about how to use money well in developing countries.
“A few areas of need that I would like to see change in include the treatment and nurturing of people with mental and physical disabilities, assistance for the elderly, and justice regarding orphans. Although my time overseas in India was relatively brief, the ‘small’ ways we were able to help in these areas sparked revolutionary amounts of joy and newfound hope,” she wrote in her essay.
“For example, simply touching and conversing with AIDS and terminal illness patients at a clinic brought tears of happiness to their eyes. For six weeks my team was also able to teach at a slum school for children of all different backgrounds, including students with polio, amputated limbs, and other disabling illnesses. The value we bestowed upon these children through giving them our time and an education inspired them to begin dreaming up how they could change their own communities and beyond. These perspective-altering scenarios changed me forever and fueled a desire inside me to pursue philanthropy on a whole new level.”
As for her experience as a student at Franklin-based Williamson College, Cannon said her time there “has done amazing things for my spiritual life.” She cited the fellowship that exists and professors who are “so insightful and caring about your life.”