Emily Rhew - 2018 Ignite Excellence Scholar

Homeschool Senior Earns GWU’s Top Academic Scholarship


An Iredell County, N.C., homeschool student has been awarded the University’s top comprehensive scholarship to attend Gardner-Webb this fall, valued at nearly $170,000 over four years.

Eighteen-year-old Emily Rhew is a homeschool student who is currently enrolled in classes at Mitchell Community College - Mooresville Campus and at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte through the North Carolina Career and College Promise program. She and more than 200 other students traveled to Gardner-Webb earlier this year to interview for a chance to receive a tuition, room and board scholarship or one of four full-tuition scholarships. Recently, members of the GWU Office of Undergraduate Admissions made the announcement at Rhew’s home among a crowd of family and friends.

“The day I found out that I was the Ignite Excellence Scholar, I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” she shared. “I was just so blessed, and it felt like all the hard work I had put into my academics and extracurricular activities was being rewarded and acknowledged in a really, really awesome way.”

Her parents, Sara and Lance Rhew, hosted the presentation at their home, which is just a few minutes outside of Davidson, N.C. Siblings Elizabeth, Kate, and Jacob Rhew were also on hand for the festivities. “We’re extremely proud of Emily’s tenacity and accomplishments,” Sara Rhew offered. “It was such a privilege to nurture her spiritually and academically. We can’t wait to witness God’s work in her life as she begins the next phase of her journey.”

While an excellent academic record initially qualified Rhew for the opportunity to interview for the top scholarship, her outside-the-classroom commitments helped her stand out from other worthy candidates. She serves as a student intern at her church and was a member of the Cups of Cold Water Dominican Republic Mission Team. She is employed at a local pool where she teaches swim lessons to kids of all ages. She is a student team leader for Operation Christmas Child and initiated an awareness campaign called “Protection Initiative.” Rhew rounds out her activities with Tae Kwon Do and is classically trained on the piano.

The Ignite Excellence Scholarship Program awards one top comprehensive scholarship, four tuition-only four-year scholarships, and several $3,000-per-year renewable academic scholarships. Each candidate participates in an individual interview, a group interview, and a critical thinking/leadership analysis. All students involved in the scholarship interviews were offered at least a $2,000 scholarship if they decide to attend Gardner-Webb.



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