Each year, the Golden LEAF Scholarship is awarded to 215 students who reside in a qualifying rural and economically distressed North Carolina County. Scholars are enrolled in a college or university located in the state and have indicated a commitment to return to a rural North Carolina community upon college graduation. Currently, 65% of scholars are first-generation college students, meaning they will be the first in their family to receive a college degree.
Twenty years after the first cohort of Golden LEAF Scholars received their awards, our community now includes several thousand alumni. These individuals are leaders all over the state of North Carolina, living out the values of the Golden LEAF Scholarship as teachers, bankers, nurses, authors, lawyers, farmers, scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, and more. They remain a vibrant and committed group of individuals who significantly contribute to communities across the state.
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