Powers Scholarship for Avery County Schools

Donald F. Powers was born in 1927 in Chatfield, Minnesota. After military service, he trained in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University, went on to a distinguished career in the aerospace industry with Honeywell, then retired to Avery County, North Carolina.

A daily fixture in the Avery County School System for more than 15 years, Mr. Powers loved technology and maintained the computers and networks across the school system. He could always be found at Avery High soccer games, working the scoreboard. Although Mr. Powers started out as a community volunteer, he was instrumental in guiding the Computer Engineering students as they assembled, configured, and installed thousands of PCs for student use in the Avery County School system. He became the "tech support" for Avery County High School. He was an inspiration to all as he interacted with students and faculty. If a Computer Engineering senior student was selected to work with Mr. Powers as an intern for the semester, he or she was taught what it meant to be an "engineer". He showed students how to analyze problems, troubleshoot like an engineer and utilize these skills successfully in college and work.

According to his nephew, "When he retired he basically reinvented himself by spending time in the Avery County schools. Being needed and welcomed in the schools kept him going until he was almost 87 years old. He always liked working with computers and networks, solving problems and putting things together. It was the perfect fit for him."

Beloved and respected, "Mr. Powers" viewed the students and teachers of Avery County as his second family. He passed away in Florida in 2014. Mr. Powers valued education and believed in the power of education to open doors for all students. His passion for science, technology and engineering and his legacy of caring for the students of Avery County and teaching them how to think lives on in his scholarship fund.


$4,000 renewable for 3 more years

Number Of Awards

One Award


Jan. 22, 2024


A graduating senior from Avery County High School and who will attend any accredited 4-year college or university in the U.S., and be enrolled in a full-time course of study. Those who attend the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the UNC School of the Arts or a home schooled are also eligible, provided their primary legal residence is in Avery County.

In addition, recipients must plan to pursue an engineering or technical field of study, such as biotechnology, computer science, electrical or computer engineering technology, electrical engineering or engineering technology.

CFWNC ensures that all scholarship recipients are selected on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis and that selections are based on specific guidelines and criteria for each fund.

Selection Criteria

  • Graduating seniors of Avery County High School
  • Legal primary residence in Avery County
  • Pursuit of a 4-year college or university degree
  • Planning to enroll in an engineering or technical field of study
  • Class ranking below the 95th percentile of the graduating class so as to serve students not usually eligible for merit programs
  • Possesses strong moral character

In addition to the above, preference will be given as follows:

  • Applicants with demonstrated financial need
  • Consideration given to male and female students in alternating years

To Apply

To apply, students must complete an application online. The application, with required attachments, must be submitted online on or before the deadline. Award Year 2024 closed.

Application Procedure

The scholarship program is administered by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Please direct any questions about this scholarship to the Foundation's Scholarship Officer, Lezette Parks, at parks@cfwnc.org.

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