RALEIGH — Not all graduates of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind move on to college, and those who do often don’t get a lot of scholarship money.
But Katelyn Nicole Moore, one of five students who graduated Friday, stands out. She has been awarded $99,000 in scholarships to attend Methodist University in Fayetteville.
“I was really happy,” said the 19-year-old from Garner, clad in her blue cap and gown.
Methodist awarded the visually impaired student a presidential scholarship worth $64,000 and a valedictorian scholarship worth an additional $35,000.
“I cried when I first found out, and cried again yesterday,” said Katelyn’s mother, Gina Pritchett. “She has gone through a lot of obstacles and has done very good achieving her goals.”
Katelyn’s father, James Moore, recalled the surprise when his daughter came to him in April with a letter from Methodist detailing the scholarships.
“She said, ‘Dad my school is paid for,’ and I said, ‘Huh, what?’ and she said, ‘Here read this letter,’” he said. “It was the letter stating that she had received the two scholarships.”
Katelyn Moore, who was also valedictorian of her class and a North Carolina Scholar, credits the Morehead School with getting her this far.
‘Really helped me’
“I’ve been here for six years, ever since sixth grade,” she said, right before she lined up with her fellow graduating class to walk into the auditorium and give her valedictorian speech. “I was a residential student and now a day student, and the school has really helped me become more independent.”
The school has a 65-acre campus with four cottages to house residential students. When Moore first started, she attended as a residential student.
Then she commuted to the school each day from Montgomery County with her father, until the family decided to move to Garner to be closer.
Her father also credits the school for its efforts in making his daughter into the person she is today. The main reason why he sent her to the School for the Blind, he said, was for the Braille and mobility instruction.
“The public schools out in the rural county we lived in had problems,” he said. “She might get Braille and mobility instruction once a month, but that wasn’t good enough.”
Morehead, off Western Boulevard in Raleigh, is the only school in the state that serves the blind.
“Without this school, I don’t know where she would be,” her father said Friday, standing outside the auditorium looking down at his daughter.
She was hugging her visually impaired boyfriend, whom she met while at school and who is now attending Methodist University himself.