Local firm, Howell and Christmas, announce Visionary Scholarship winners Abby Wiehe and Monisha Bowens

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$1K scholarship brings students closer to realizing their educational dreams

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Recognizing the difficulties students face in financing a college education and the role funding plays in achieving the completion of a college degree, the law firm of Howell and Christmas has announced a $1,000 Visionary Scholarship to assist South Carolina college students reach their educational goals. Founding firm partner, Gary Christmas, says the scholarship is “…in line with our overall mission to serve injured workers in our community.”

The 500 – 1,000 word essay-based scholarship opportunity asks prospective recipients to write about one of three topics; the right of American’s to trial by jury, the impact of the United States Constitution on our everyday lives, and whether or not the United States should continue to carry out capital punishment as a penalty for crimes.

This month, 20 year-old Abby Wiehe, and 22 year-old Monisha Bowens have been selected to receive the scholarships with both winners writing about and defending their views on the use of capital punishment.

Wiehe who is currently a junior at the University of South Carolina and is studying Public Health, maintains a 3.2 GPA and has her sights set on influencing health promotion through eventual work with the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization. She says this scholarship has put her one step closer to realizing her goals. In her winning essay, Wiehe presents various arguments in opposition to the death penalty, ending with the assertion that, “While it may be difficult to practice, compassion for even the “worst” of people is necessary in life.”

Bowens, who completed her undergraduate degree at Winthrop University in Rock Hill with a major in Political Science and a minor in Social Work plans on pursing a joint Master of Social Work (MSW) and Juris Doctorate (JD) culminating in a practice in family law. She investigates the pros and cons of the death penalty, and supports this form of punishment only if there is absolute certainty that the right perpetrator is being brought to justice. She believes that “…victims’ families deserve the closure this penalty brings.” Bowens who has “…always had a passion for children and families and advocating for those less fortunate…” says this scholarship will allow her to continue living her passion.

When asked why the firm created this scholarship, Gary Christmas replied, “It is important for us to give back to our community. This is just one way in which we feel we can create a positive and impactful community ripple effect.” The Howell and Christmas Visionary Scholarship is open to United States citizens and permanent residents who are currently enrolled in an accredited college or university. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.8 or higher and apply winnings to their current term’s tuition.

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