Announcing Our Fall 2018 Beacon® Scholarship for Rural America Winners!

Beacon® Scholarship Winners 2018

What does patriotism mean to you? We posed this question to students across rural America for a chance to win a $1000 scholarship from Carrot-Top Industries. Replies came in from as far away as California, and as close to home as coastal North Carolina. 2018 is the first year Carrot-Top has awarded an academic scholarship. Following this award, we will reinstate the Beacon® Scholarship for Rural America as a biannual award, with awards for both fall and spring semesters. Visit the Beacon® Scholarship page for details and deadline information.


Why a Scholarship?

Carrot-Top Industries supports the American dream—the idea that every U.S. citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. However, there are limitations on some due to the expense of education.


“Rural advancement has been near and dear to my family's heart for a very long time. It is my belief that patriotism runs deep in every corner of our country, and that patriots will make a positive contribution to our future. The Beacon® Scholarship for Rural America celebrates patriotism and American ideals like equal opportunity and hard work. It is our way of acknowledging the hard work and determination that lives in all of us, including the under-served in our country," said Liz Morris, Marketing Manager/Co-Owner at Carrot-Top Industries.


Our winners are a shining example of patriotism and the belief in the American Dream that thrives in rural communities today.


Meet the Winners!

We are delighted to announce our two winners for the Fall 2018 scholarship award—Daja Brown of Roper, NC and Joseph Andrus of Lava Hot Springs, ID. Congratulations, Daja and Joseph!


Daja BrownMeet Daja Brown

Daja Brown describes her hometown of Roper, NC as “small and welcoming…filled with great history and people.” Roper is a located in rural eastern North Carolina in an area with well-established agricultural roots—namely peanut farming. Brown attended high school in the nearby town of Plymouth, where she excelled with a 4.0 GPA. This fall she will be attending Elizabeth City State University, where she will major in Psychology.


Brown credits her culture as a major influence for the pursuit of her goals, “A great deal of what motivates me to pursue my goals is my culture...I feel that if more diversity is found in more major fields of study that there would be less animosity. I would like to hope I will inspire more girls, not just of color, to pursue their dreams no matter the expense, difficulty, or work it may cause,” she said.


Here's an excerpt from Brown’s essay on patriotism:

“My personal belief is that each and every community in America would benefit greatly if patriotism was everyone's top priority. The courage, the perseverance, the good, and the compassion that the citizens of each community possess will outweigh any factor that may be hindering them.  There is no greater accomplishment for a true patriot than to see…a small community…and an entire country flourish. Flourishing through knowledge of the past, working hard to trust each other, having the capacity to invent new things, and the courage to defend the people with every power you have.”


Joseph AndrusMeet Joseph Andrus

Andrus is from the small town of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho—where the population is roughly 500 people. “Lava triples in size in the summer months from tourist attractions. But what really makes my hometown stand out is the sense of community that binds us together,” he said.


Andrus is a student at Brigham Young University where he is majoring in Manufacturing Engineering. His future plans include taking the skills and principles he is learning now, to improve the quality of life for others. Andrus credits his rural roots for his work ethic, “The value of hard work has been instilled in me from my childhood. Growing up on my family’s sheep and cattle ranch I came to know that I can only achieve my goals through diligence and hard work. By maintaining a positive attitude, I can inspire others to do the same,” he said.


Here's an excerpt from Andrus’ essay on patriotism:

“Patriotism is more than red, white and blue. It is a unifying force that allows individuals, communities, and states to work together to forward the growth and improvement of this great nation. Patriotism is manifested through civic engagement and community service. These actions work together to create a domino effect that enhances the lives of all. As members of communities across this nation, we must show our patriotism not only with a flag on our porch but with a life that boldly paints the values of freedom and enhances each individual’s quality of life.”


What’s Next for The Beacon® Scholarship for Rural America?

We were inspired and heartened by the young American voices who reached out to us to share their thoughts on patriotism. Choosing a winner was not easy, which is why we planned for two awards. Even so, choosing two winners from the pile of qualified high school, college, and adult student candidates was still tough. We appreciated hearing from everyone who applied for the Beacon® Scholarship for Rural America, and we hope you will share this opportunity with others so that we may continue to offer this opportunity to deserving students in the future.


Upcoming deadlines for the 2019-2020 Beacon® Scholarship for Rural America are:

  • October 31, 2018 – We will be awarding one winner for the spring semester
  • June 30, 2019 – We will be awarding two winners for the fall semester

Visit to apply. 

About the Author

Jenny Jolly | [email protected]

Jenny JollyCarrot-Top Staff Writer, Jenny Jolly, has been blogging and writing for businesses since 2008. A self-proclaimed "Army brat", Jolly grew up on military bases overseas before settling back in her family's home state of North Carolina. "Growing up a bi-cultural American has taught me to appreciate the diversity of our great nation. Having experienced other cultures firsthand has also given me valuable perspective on what it means to be American—to love your country, to value your rights and freedoms, and to fully embrace the ideal of the American Dream," she said. It is her honor to serve Carrot-Top Industries in the shared goal of providing American-made U.S. flags and patriotic, special event, and custom-made products to military institutions, service member families, government agencies, schools, businesses, and individuals across the United States.