The Trust was created under the will of Stephen W. Keeter, who passed away September 10, 2001. Mr. Keeter was a business owner and a resident of McDowell County. His intentions in his will was to provide educational scholarships to enable students to attend good quality schools, whether public or private or state supported, in order to advance their education and better prepare them for their own goals and objectives in life.

Applicants should be eligible for a scholarship to any recognized legitimate educational institution, including without limitation one-year programs of study, two- year programs of study, or longer programs of study. Community colleges, technical institutes or colleges, two year colleges, four- year colleges, and graduate study programs for advanced degrees.

Primary consideration ahead of others will be given to applicants who are members of Story Memorial Presbyterian Church, Marion NC. On a secondary consideration level, any student of any age whose legal residence is McDowell County, NC is eligible to apply. On a third consideration level, any student whose parents or grandparents live in McDowell County, NC, even if the student does not live here, will be eligible to apply. Only in the most unusual of circumstances should any applicant be considered who has no connection with McDowell County, North Carolina.

Scholarships should be awarded based upon the applicant's good character and demonstrated determination to achieve his or her goals in life. Good character and demonstrated determination can be shown for example, by the applicant's involvement in a church school, or community, by achieving reasonably good grades in school (lower grades than may at first seem acceptable should not exclude an applicant if his or her circumstances provide a reasonable explanation, particularly if one or more of the applicant's current or recent teachers provide meaningful recommendations); by maintaining part-time or full time employment; and by other ways that may be appropriate in the careful judgment of the scholarship selection individual or group.

Educational scholarships shall not be limited to students who are applying initially to enter an educational institution, but may also be awarded to students who need financial assistance to remain enrolled in an educational institution. Scholarship assistance may be used to pay tuition, books, supplies, and any other expense associated with attendance by the student at the educational institution.

Payments of scholarship funds shall be made directly to the educational institution, except reimbursement payments may be made directly to the student under circumstances that are deemed appropriate by the Trustee in the Trustee's absolute discretion. The selection of a student to receive scholarship aid for any academic year shall not obligate the Trustee to repeat scholarship aid for subsequent years. The recipient must demonstrate through grades and achievement that he or she has a serious attitude toward obtaining additional education before being awarded scholarship aid for additional years. The Applicant and Educational Institution agrees that any monies not used for direct educational expenses will be returned to the Scholarship Trust.

The 250 word essay should include (1) Your qualifications for this Scholarship (2) Your aspirations and current and future contributions to your community (3) Your career goals after completing your educational achievements, and (4) Any other information that the selection committee should know in evaluating your application.

The completed application and the required information should be mailed to:

Stephen W. Keeter Scholarship Trust:

PO Box 893, Marion, NC 28752.