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The NorthEast Foundation, whose mission is to provide financial and community support for Atrium Health Cabarrus, announced Jamal Smith as the recipient of the 2019 Ann Cannon Spirit of Volunteerism Scholarship Award. 

Smith is a recent graduate at A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis, and is attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall to pursue a career in Exercise and Sports Science.

Smith’s academic, civic and personal achievements are exemplary. 

In addition to his 4.3 grade-point average in school, he was Vice President of the National Honor Society, a member of the National Technical Honor Society, Student Council President, earned his Eagle Scout rank, works for the Kannapolis Intimidators and has volunteered at Atrium Health Cabarrus in various departments since 2014.

“Before volunteering at the hospital, I had no idea of what I wanted to do after high school,” Smith said. “The popular question of ‘what do I want to be?’ was always hard for me to answer. Then I started volunteering at the hospital.  I fell in love with the environment and the lessons I learned while volunteering after the first year.  Today, I plan on majoring in exercise science and sports science and working to be a physical therapist.  Without the volunteer program at Atrium Health Cabarrus, I would have never found my passion in medicine.”

Smith accepted the scholarship from Ann and Bill Cannon at an afternoon social at Carolinas Rehabilitation – NorthEast on Aug. 13. 

Also, in attendance for the award presentation were Todd Bennett, Vice President at Carolinas Rehabilitation; Katherine Barrier, Director of Volunteer Services at Atrium Health Cabarrus; Charlie Sastoque, President of NorthEast Foundation; Stacey Ellis-Antisdel, Bernadette Reid and Ken Young, volunteers and scholarship selection committee members; as well as Smith’s mother Wanda.

“Walking into the meeting with everyone who made it possible for me to go to Chapel Hill, was a nerve-racking experience at first,” Smith said. “Knowing that everyone was there for me and my mom, and no other reason, was a feeling I’ve never felt before.  Every person there was so welcoming and excited for me.  The experience was like no other.  I am so grateful to be the recipient of the award and it was an honor to meet the Cannons (Ann and Bill).” 

“It is truly an honor to gift this scholarship each year to a worthy young individual,” said Ann Cannon.  “Jamal has exemplified the true meaning of volunteerism as a priceless commodity that cannot be bought; only earned.  I know he will continue to demonstrate this philosophy as he begins his education at Chapel Hill to become a physical therapist.”

The Ann Cannon Spirit of Volunteerism Scholarship Award was established in 2004 and is endowed through the NorthEast Foundation as a gift from Mr. William (Bill) Cannon in honor or his wife, Mrs. Ann Cannon.  Mr. Cannon endowed this award as recognition of his wife’s volunteer contributions as a member and past chair of the NorthEast Foundation and her passion for Atrium Health Cabarrus.  The award is used to recognize and support volunteer service among members of the Junior Volunteer Program.  The recipients will use this scholarship to assist them as they further their educational pursuits following high school graduation. 

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