Emily Vinson, a 2020 Franklin High School graduate, has won The Friends of Franklin Library Scholarship in Memory of Wilma Winters. She received $1,000 toward the cost of her college education.
Vinson was selected as the contest winner based on her essay about a book that changed her thinking, "Becoming" by Michelle Obama. The former first lady's autobiography, Vinson wrote, inspired her to persevere through difficulties and to serve her community.
"In these challenging times today, I hoped what I learned in the book 'Becoming' can help me focus on the positive, recognize there is still good in the world, and help others," Vinson wrote.
Now a Providence College student, Vinson has volunteered at the library, senior center and elsewhere. She also served as a basketball referee through the Franklin Recreation Department, an experience she used in her essay as an example of how perseverance turned her from a soft-spoken, unsure official to a confident one that over time earned the respect of players and coaches.
The Friends of Franklin Library established its scholarship program in 2014 as part of an effort to honor Wilma Winters, a longtime Franklin resident and library supporter. Winters, who had a long career in higher education, worked for many years as a librarian, including at Boston University Medical School and Harvard’s School of Public Health. She spent her retirement years volunteering at the Franklin Public Library. Winters died in 2011, leaving a sizable donation to The Friends.
The scholarship program has assisted college-bound Franklin students in each of the past seven years. It will be awarded again this year to a member of the Class of 2021.
|Lisa Rein, left, a Friends of Franklin Library board member, presents a check to Emily Vinson, winner of the Friends of Franklin Library Scholarship in Memory of Wilma Winters|