A Pinecrest High School student has been named the winner of the eighth annual Seven Lakes Family Dentistry Scholarship.
Gabriel Richmond, a senior at Pinecrest, received a $1,500 college scholarship. Two other finalists were also awarded scholarships. Maria White, also from Pinecrest, received a $1,000 award. Max Epstein, from The O’Neal School, received a $500 award.
Richmond, of Pinehurst, is the son of James and Kristin Richmond. He is ranked in the top 5 percent of his class at Pinecrest. His leadership roles include serving as captain of the varsity football team, where he was an All-Conference player, and serving as a leader and mentor to middle school students through Wyldlife of the Sandhills.
Richmond is a member of the National Honor Society, student government and Young Life. He is active in the community and has volunteered with Salvation Army, 365 Soccer, Festival D’Avion and Pinehurst Barbeque Festival. He was class representative for the Key Club, was a junior class marshal, plays recreational basketball, is an AP scholar with honors, won the Senior Academic Leader Award and was also awarded the 2022 Scholar Athlete award.
In the fall, Richmond plans to attend N.C. State University or UNC Chapel Hill, where he plans to pursue a career as a civil engineer.
His outstanding character was evident in his letters of reference. As was noted by his references, “Gabe is well rounded with one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen in a high school student and he exhibits an outstanding combination of leadership and dedication.”
Maria White, son of Jason and Teresa White of Pinehurst, is ranked first in her class at Pinecrest High School. She was an Honors Junior Marshal, received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award and is a member of the National Honor Society.
White plays travel volleyball, is a member of First Baptist Church South Pines youth group and started the Photography Club at Pinecrest. She volunteers with several community organizations, including the ACS TopSoccer program and as a coach with the ACS Developmental Program.
Described by a reference as “able to maintain a healthy balance of competitiveness and humbleness with a drive to succeed,” White will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall, where she plans to major in biology and pursue a career as an allergist/immunologist.
Maxwell Epstein, son of Mark and Julia Epstein of Aberdeen, is a National Merit Scholar who attends The O’Neal School. He is captain of Science Olympiad, founding member of the Maker Space, Chess Club member/teacher, Middle School STEAM club assistant, and a research assistant.
Epstein is an accomplished dancer, being a performing member of the High Point Ballet, Imagine Youth Theater and Gary Taylor Dance. He has been awarded the O’Neal Head of School Achievement Award and the Youngclaus Creative Writing Award and was accepted into the fusor.net Plasma Club. He completed summer ventures in science and math and is part of the O’Neal Signature Scholars Research Program Cohort and National Honor Society.
According to one of his teachers, “Max’s intuitive grasp of physics is unmatched, and he is dedicated and mature with an insatiable curiosity.” Epstein plans to attend Columbia University in New York City, where he will pursue a career in nuclear engineering.
The Seven Lakes Family Dentistry Scholarship is open to any senior at any high school in Moore County, and applications were received this spring. With more than 30 applications received, the Independent Scholarship Committee had a very difficult decision.
The Scholarship Committee is composed of retired educators, school administrators and business professionals. Applicants were evaluated on the basis of academic performance, moral character, letters of recommendation, community involvement, and a personal statement. According to the scholarship committee, the quality of the applicants was outstanding and the personal statements were inspiring.
Dr. Jennifer S. Massey, owner of Seven Lakes Family Dentistry, sponsors this scholarship as a way to give back to the Moore County community.
“I remember how important the scholarships were that I received,” she said. “They allowed me the opportunity to complete my undergraduate education debt free. I am honored to be a part of assisting other students in fulfilling their college and career aspirations.
“We were excited to have such a great response again this year and I look forward to continuing this scholarship next year.”