Return to Headlines

Hunter Huss student earns mentoring scholarship

J'Shawn Leach is this years Paul Fuller Schlarship Recipient

Hunter Huss High School student receives Paul Fuller Mentoring Scholarship

J’Shawn Leach says his mentor helped him become the confident, outgoing young man that he is today.

Leach became involved in the mentoring program as a student at York Chester Middle School, which gave him the opportunity to talk to his mentor, Jon Oliphant, about the challenges of adjusting to middle school. 

“Mr. Oliphant always looked on the bright side and encouraged me to do the same,” Leach said. “I was fearful of failing, and he always listened and pushed me to do better. He was really influential in helping me achieve success.”

The Hunter Huss graduate is the Class of 2023 winner of the Paul Fuller Mentoring Scholarship, which is given each year to an outstanding student who has been involved in the school district’s mentoring program.  The $1,000 scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

The mentoring scholarship is named in memory of Paul F. Fuller, who was one of the first mentors in Gaston County Schools and an avid supporter of the program.  The program began in 1992 with just 10 mentors at Mount Holly Junior High School.

“Having someone to share your experiences with can lead to tremendous personal growth,” Leach said. “Mentors provide a strong bond with their students and really become like family.” 

Leach was accepted at all six colleges where he applied, and he plans to attend East Carolina University to study art and film production. 

“Having Mr. Oliphant as a mentor was extremely helpful to me during my schooling,” he said. “He gave me the best advice to help me with everyday situations, both big and small, and I am so grateful for his influence.”

Hunter Huss High School counselor Victoria Johnson said that Leach is an outstanding student, who always takes initiative in his academic career. 

“J’Shawn is self-motivated and responsible,” she said. “He is extremely hardworking and so deserving of all his success thus far and will continue to be successful in the future.”

Congratulations, J’Shawn Leach, on winning the Paul Fuller Mentoring Scholarship!