Carson-Newman News Office
JEFFERSON CITY — There have been moments this year when it has felt like no news has been the only good news.
Carson-Newman University’s admissions team saw how the pressures and uncertainty of the pandemic and resulting economic turmoil have weighed on young adults and wanted to find a way to bring a little joy to at least one family.
The university requested nominations for high school seniors who persevered despite this year’s difficulties. The winning senior received a weekend getaway in the Smokies. C-N received testimonials about dozens of high school seniors across the region.
“This competition was a blessing to be a part of. The nominations just kept rolling in. With each nomination came inspiration and blessing,” said Aaron Porter, vice president for enrollment management. “We read about heartache, illness, loss of loved ones, faith and perseverance. But through it all, we saw God’s faithfulness in these young men and women’s lives. I’m blown away with the adversity and character that have been reported with each of these nominations.”
Earlier this month, the nomination team announced West Greene High School senior Kenton Cobble, of Mosheim, as the winner. Cobble persevered to keep good grades, participate in multiple sports, and remain faithful at his church, all while helping his family as his mother dealt with a chronic illness.
Cobble’s story was just one of many praiseworthy testimonies that came from the nominations. Others were:
Jaxton Orr, 18, of Homestead High School, organized, directed and judged two charity fishing tournaments to raise more than $9,000 for families and organizations in need due to the pandemic. More than 400 anglers from 38 states and Canada participated.
Mackenzie Johnson, 17, of Sullivan East High School, is an honor roll student who participates in cheer and FFA, works part-time, and keeps God at the center of her life.
There’s also Caitlin Reeves, a 17-year-old Gibbs High School student who is finishing her senior year online, tutoring a family member and teaching at her church’s preschool. She’s maintaining her faith and dedication to her responsibilities while her father deals with kidney cancer.
Nicholas Ravnborg faced cancer and returned to Jefferson County High School to represent his school on the golf team. His wins even landed a golf scholarship!
Monteith Haley, an 18-year-old student in Dyersburg City Schools, received a high score on his ACT this fall. Chloe-Grace “CG” Ginter, 18, is keeping good grades while playing in band, participating in track and working part-time. Tyler Scott Bolden, 17, of Community High School, has kept a strong faith, good grades and plans to play baseball. All three lost close family members in recent years.
“Believing that a faithful God reigns, even in times of trial, means that there’s always some good news to share,” Porter said. “There are so many uplifting stories of triumph and endurance within these nominations. They truly touched our hearts. It is our hope that these stories of incredible young lives poised to take on the future bring joy to our community.”