Chandler Bell received a graduation present unlike any other in early April.
The recent Franklin High School graduate was awarded a $1,500 Franklin Leadership College Scholarship for outstanding community service and academics, beating out many other qualified applicants.
Leadership Franklin, a local nonprofit organization, awards the scholarship annually to high school or college students who improve Williamson County through service and demonstrate effective community leadership. Applicants are selected based on cumulative grade point average, quality of essay, and scholarship application points.
Bell graduated from Franklin High School on May 26. She was an active member of the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit, Winter Guard International and Bands of America.
According to Bell, the color guard built much of his personality, character, and leadership skills.
“Colour keeping is my passion and the activity I love the most,” she wrote in her application essay. “I cherished the opportunity to share my passion with the other members of the band and inspire them to achieve their full potential. As a band, it takes every person to give their all to perfect our performance. I loved having the chance to instill these qualities in those around me through whole-group discussions and sharp officer meetings that ensure the atmosphere of the group is where it should be.My hope for other members is that the band can become their home and a happy place to thrive, as it is for me.
Bell is also known for her volunteer work, regularly donating her time to Mu Alpha Theta, Habitat for Humanity, and Threads of Care (TOC), an organization that coordinates clothing drives. She has held several leadership positions at TOC, including Vice President, Deputy Director and, most recently, Executive Director. The club has many chapters in Williamson County. Franklin resident Zach Wolfson founded the first chapter in 2016 while in high school. A homeless child he met in New York inspired him to work to provide clothing for people in need.
“It’s my job to make sure the chapters and our semi-annual clothing drives run smoothly,” Bell wrote. “Through Threads of Care, I learned how to problem solve, communicate effectively and lead by example. I deepened my passion for helping those around me and learned that we are capable of so much when we come together as a community.
She plans to attend Lipscomb University in the fall, but says volunteer work and community service will remain a priority throughout her college career.
“I want to major in elementary education…and when it comes to service, I definitely want to stay active in my community,” she said. “I know my church has a lot of different opportunities for me to do that in their food bank and children’s ministry. I also want to get involved in different service organizations at Lipscomb.
She added that her family and neighbors in Williamson County and Franklin often inspire her with a passion to help others.
“I think I learned how precious kindness and service can be, and also how much people care about them here and how much of a difference their caring can make,” she said. declared. “Through my church and seeing my mom serve and seeing her friends serve, I’ve seen how much they care about the things that people in this community are going through, but also people in the South, and how much that caring can… make a difference.”
More information about the Leadership Franklin Fellowship can be found at www.leadershipfranklin.org.