North Edgecombe High School graduate Tre’Quez Johnson recently was named the second recipient of the Sparkplug Scholarship.
The Thomas Wilson Hatchel Sr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship, affectionately termed “Sparkplug” was founded by the son, Thomas Hatchel Jr., and his family in memory of Hatchel Sr. The value of the merit-based scholarship is approximately $3,000.
Johnson was selected based on his high school achievements, including having received two Auto Body certificates while in high school.
“I have put in a whole lot of work during my high school years,” Johnson said. “This is a real moment of joy for me to receive this full scholarship. This is a step in the direction of me owning my own auto shop one day.”
Johnson was awarded the full amount of tuition and books for the three-semester diploma program at Edgecombe Community College. Upon completion of the automotive program there, he will also receive a tool kit to help him as he enters the work force.
“Will Hatchel was a mechanic his entire life. He taught his children and grandchildren to work hard and value family,” said Linda Hatchel Cobb, daughter of Hatchel, Sr. “Because his CB handle was Sparkplug, the family found it fitting to name the scholarship as such.”
Hatchel’s vision is to create a partnership between the scholarship committee and local auto mechanic shops in an attempt to gain sponsors and create an internship opportunity in the community his father lived and worked.
Though Johnson is the second Sparkplug scholar, he is the first student to receive it as a full scholarship. Johnson will be recognized again in November at Edgecombe Community College’s scholarship ceremony.