Tioga senior awarded Smith Scholarship for fall 2023

By Lexi Rachal, Wildcats Media

Kylee Vanhoof, a senior at Tioga High School in Ball, was awarded the Smith Scholarship for 2023 after competing against 12 other seniors at the annual competition Saturday, Jan. 28.

In order to compete for this scholarship, students must have at least a 28 ACT score, submit an academic resume, two letters of recommendation, and a short essay.

They are further evaluated by LCU faculty members based on their leadership qualities and Christian character in their written responses and the on-sight interview portion of the competition. The winner receives a four-year full tuition, room, and board scholarship.

“One of the highlights each year at LCU is the Smith Scholarship competition,” said LCU President Dr. Rick Brewer. “These high-achieving students are impressive and full of promise for the future. Kylee Vanhoof proved to be the best of the best this year. I am confident Kylee and the other Smith Scholarship contestants will make a significant difference in and out of the classroom over the coming years at Louisiana Christian University.”

Vanhoof said she was honored to win the Smith Scholarship and it let her know LCU is the right place for her.

“I feel blessed that I was chosen,” Vanhoof said. “I think it’s great because I know it was a tough competition, and I was up against a lot of really good people.”

She plans to double major in biology and chemistry, then head to medical school after she graduates.

While she is excited about the academic opportunities LCU offers, she is equally excited about the spiritual opportunities.

“I think it’s important to come to a Christian university because it strengthens your faith as you’re here and you dont have to worry about getting sucked into the temptations of the world, and you just learn and you grow in your faith,” Vanhoof said.

Vanhoof is a member of First Baptist Church Pineville. Dr. C. Stewart Holloway, the pastor of FBC Pineville, said Vanhoof would be an incredible addition to LCU, not only because of her academic success but because of her strong Christian character and ability to handle many different things at once.

“I suppose any student can be active at church, but can any student be active at church, maintain straight A’s, be a leader at her school as captain of the dance line and senior class president, and have a part-time job as a checker at a local grocery store,” Holloway said. “No, and that is why Kylee is exceptional! She can handle and excel at all her activities because she loves the Lord and life.”

Holloway recalled when Kylee told him she planned on attending LCU.

“She was beaming with excitement,” Holloway said. “I was equally excited because it means we get to keep her around for four more years!”

An endowment donation from Tom and Beverly Durham to honor Beverly Durham’s mother, Elizabeth Smith, founded the Smith Scholarship in the early 1970s.


Media Release     |     Jan. 31, 2023     |     Pineville, Louisiana
Contact: Dr. Elizabeth B. Clarke, Director of University Communications | Elizabeth.clarke@lcuniversity.edu