The road to success is not always easy. Sometimes it is paved with hardships,
incredible challenges, change, and loss, but with time and perseverance,
these circumstances can lead to unexpected joy, achievement, and profound
personal growth. These life-changing lessons can be difficult, but the
journey can also be marked with great reward.
Such is the case for Victor Ohiole Ilevbare, the 2018 winner of the Wayne
F. Shovelin Scholarship. A senior at Forestview High School in Gastonia,
Victor was recently named the fourth Shovelin Scholar by the CaroMont
Health Foundation. Surprised at school by representatives from the CaroMont
Health Foundation Scholarship Committee, his principal and teachers were
also there to celebrate Victor’s achievement. This scholarship,
which provides the most significant educational contribution of any scholarship
in Gaston County, offers up to $20,000 each academic year toward undergraduate
studies in a healthcare-related field.
“We are very proud of Victor and all the talented scholarship applicants,”
said Janie Peak, CaroMont Health Foundation Board member and Chair of
the Scholarship Committee. “We have an incredible group of talented
and deserving applicants, all of whom are outstanding in their own right.
It is a difficult decision. Our committee is composed of physicians and
other hospital professionals, teachers, guidance counselors, college professors,
human resource personnel, retired school board members and noted community
leaders, and all are committed to the process. Committee members spend
hundreds of hours combing over all of the applications, and eight finalists
were named this year. In addition to the written application, finalists
were also invited to attend a reception in their honor and were interviewed
the next day by the committee.”
Mrs. Peak added, “Victor is an extraordinary young man and exemplary
student who has achieved so much in such a short time in the United States.
He embodies the specific qualities of leadership, community involvement
and academic excellence that our committee seeks in a recipient. The CaroMont
Health Foundation looks forward to following Victor and the previous winners
as they pursue their dreams in health-related fields."
Born in Nigeria, Victor first began his education in a strict Catholic
boarding school where, even at an early age, he mentored and tutored other
students - always believing those around him deserved the chance to learn.
As he progressed in his studies and observed the struggles of his family
and those in his community, he began to understand that his calling was
to make a difference in the lives of those who surround him. Victor and
his family immigrated to the United States in search of better opportunities
for the entire family and better health care for his father. Unfortunately,
less than two years later, his father passed away, leaving Victor, his
mother and three younger siblings to navigate a new country and new circumstances
alone. However, knowing they had one another, they persevered. Victor
poured himself into his studies and as the oldest of four children, he
quickly realized the role he must play both as a son and as a brother.
Life in a new country was not always easy for Victor; he has had to learn
and become fluent in English in a short period of time and has mastered
the language to a level that rivals the top performers at his school.
During the scholarship interview process, Victor spoke eloquently about
experiences, good and bad, that have helped shape who he is and who he
hopes to become. Victor has an insatiable dedication to supporting the
greater good, something that is not always top of mind for most high school
seniors, and he plans to use the blessings he has received to better the
lives of those around him.
Victor’s goal is to become an infectious-disease doctor and plans
to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergraduate
studies. He plans to return to this area and some day, he hopes to create
an internship program in Nigeria to help educate people on how to recognize
and care for diseases common to the region.
“Victor’s academic prowess, coupled with his desire to serve
others, is truly an inspiration,” said Mrs. Peak. “He has
already made an impact with those of us who have had the pleasure to meet
him, and I have no doubt that he will continue to impact those around
him - in Gaston County and beyond.”
The Wayne F. Shovelin Scholarship, made possible by a generous donation
from the Duke Kimbrell family in honor of long-time CaroMont Health CEO,
Wayne Shovelin, is highly competitive for local high school students.
In addition to the up to $20,000 each year in support for tuition and
fees, the scholarship provides recipients with three, paid summer internships
at CaroMont Health. These internships offer scholars the opportunity to
learn from healthcare professionals within their specific interest areas
to gain exposure to the wide range of careers available in healthcare.
The Wayne F. Shovelin Scholarship is one of seven scholarship funds made
possible by generous donors to the CaroMont Health Foundation. To learn
more about the programs and services offered through the Foundation and
how you can help, please call 704.834.4034.