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Seventh grader earns $20,000 scholarship

Hard work and persistence have paid off for Selma Middle's Vanessa Zepeda-Paromo, who was selected this month to receive the $20,000 Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship.

Paromo is one of only ten students in the state to receive this educational award, and she can use the funds to attend the college of her choice.

“Vanessa was chosen to represent Selma Middle due to her hard work, diligence and commitment,” said Selma Middle teacher Gina Bedford, who nominated Paromo for the award. “She is a student in our AVID program and represents all that AVID stands for: Advancement Via Individual Determination. I know she will continue to make us all very proud.”

According to Paromo, she is glad that her hard work is bringing positive results.

“Now I know that I worked hard for something, and it payed off,” said Paromo. “This is the first time anything like this happened in my family. I’m motivated to work harder, and I know I can go to college now.”

The Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship is awarded to seventh graders to encourage and assist high potential North Carolina students to pursue a college degree.

Each recipient of the scholarship has an NC 529 College Savings account established with their name as the beneficiary. Each year that they qualify to renew the scholarship, from seventh grade through college graduation, $2,000 is added to that account with a maximum contribution of $20,000.

“We work to empower all of our students with the resources to make their dreams a reality,” said Christopher Germanoski, Principal of Selma Middle School. “We are so proud of Vanessa and the work that she’s done here at Selma Middle and want to congratulate her on receiving this scholarship. The future is bright at Selma Middle School.”