South Johnston Graduate Receives Prestigious Scouting Scholarship

William Samuel Godwin, a 2017 graduate of South Johnston High, has been awarded a prestigious 2017 Pope Eagle Scout Scholarship. Photo by Ken Tart Photography.

Raleigh  – The Boy Scouts of America Occoneechee Council and John William Pope Foundation have announced the 2017 Pope Eagle Scout Scholars.  The annual program recognizes four scouts who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and personal achievement in their academic and scouting lives.  Each Pope Scholar receives a $20,000 college scholarship that is used for tuition and internships.

One of the four recipients, William Samuel Godwin, is a Dunn native and 2017 graduate of South Johnston High School.  He is a member of First Baptist Church of Dunn.  During his scouting career, he obtained 24 merit badges and was a leader in his troop.  Godwin plans to pursue a career in law.

Additional scholarship recipients include Holden James Bigford of Fayetteville, Warren Stewart Whitley of Raleigh, and Miles T. Wiley of Raleigh. Over 50 scouts applied for the scholarship, and a committee of five community leaders interviewed finalists and selected recipients.

“We considered an impressive group of young men, and it was not an easy decision,” said committee member and Pope Foundation Communications Director Lindsay Hollandsworth.  “The chosen candidates will undoubtedly continue to make notable contributions to their communities and represent the best of what Scouting has to offer.”

The late John William Pope, a Raleigh businessman and philanthropist, established the Pope Eagle Scout Scholarship Program in 2001 to support the studies and development of future free enterprise leaders.  The program has continued with an annual $40,000 matching grant from his family foundation.

The Occoneechee Council is the largest Boy Scouts Council in North Carolina and serves an average of 20,000 scouts annually.   The Occoneechee Council encompasses scouting programs in Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Vance, Wake, and Warren counties.