Kiwanis Club awards scholarships to trio of essay writers

Cullen Ferguson
Black Mountain News| USA TODAY NETWORK

The Kiwanis Club of Black Mountain-Swannanoa has awarded a $2,000 college scholarship to Asheville Christian Academy senior Kaylene Cender for submitting the winning entry in its 2018 World Citizenship Essay Contest.

Two other Swannanoa Valley seniors, Maysen Rathe and Cody Hill, both from Owen High School, each received $1,500 scholarships for their essays.

Left to right: Corise Gambrell, Chair, International Understanding Committee; Kaylene Cendar, $2,000 scholarship winner, Cody Hill, $1,500 scholarship winner; Maysen Rathe, $1,500 scholarship winner; Dave Wilks, Kiwanis Club President

The three were honored at the Kiwanis Club’s weekly meeting on Oct. 25 at the Christmount Dining Hall.

Cender, the daughter of Asheville gastroenterologist Dr. Craig Cender and his wife Dawn, has studied Spanish for four years and has already had the privilege of traveling to Peru and Costa Rica. She hopes to one day work as a nurse with a volunteer organization in Central or South America. 

“World citizenship implies thinking beyond our immediate circle and engaging the larger community. The beauty of the world,” Kaylene wrote in her essay, “lies in the dynamic of cultures clashing, combining and creating; something that mankind will miss if we don’t step outside of our comfort zones and let ourselves be stirred by other traditions, beliefs and perspectives.”

In his essay, Hill wrote about his experience last summer visiting hospitals and clinics in India as part of a summer program called Leadership Institute: The Experiment in International Living.

Hill wrote that this experience enabled him “to become part of a global community by connecting to another country and its people, understanding our common values and issues, and being conscious of how we are all connected in this world.”

His classmate, Rathe, wrote that she plans to study nursing in college and to continue her study of foreign languages.

“This will set me up right to become a traveling nurse,” Rathe wrote, “and hopefully get the chance to work with a global foundation such as the American Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.”