February 3, 2023

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Home Builders Association awards scholarships | Lifestyles

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The New River Valley Home Builders Association is excited to announce the recipients of the annual Rick Whitney Memorial Scholarship.

The mission of the NRVHBA scholarship committee is to support the future growth of the construction industry by providing aid to deserving students planning to enroll in construction-related studies at Virginia’s colleges, trade schools and within working internships.

The NRVHBA requests applications from graduating high school students in Montgomery, Giles, Pulaski, Floyd, Wythe and Carroll Counties, as well as the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the city of Radford.

This year, the NRVHBA is proud to announce two recipients of this annual scholarship: Caleb Johnston, of Christiansburg; and Caleb Midkiff, of Pulaski. Though many outstanding applications were received, both Johnston and Midkiff had the educational, extracurricular and work experience pushing them to the top of the group.

Johnston is a graduate of Christiansburg High School with an impressive list of volunteer, extracurricular and work experience, including volunteering for Sleep in Heavenly Peace, leadership within FFA, and working as a laborer for a local excavation firm. An interest in building things, being outdoors, working with his hands and studying math and science led him to apply to attend Virginia Tech this fall, majoring in construction engineering and management. After graduation, he looks forward to staying in the NRV and giving back to the community.

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Midkiff is a graduate of Pulaski County High School. He was a member of the Honor Society, Dean’s List and baseball team, while also working for a local lawn care business. His grandfather was an electrician, leading him to want to pursue a career as an HVAC technician and electrician and beginning his education at New River Community College this fall. He looks forward to remaining in the New River Valley, working in residential construction and growing as a highly skilled professional.

The scholarship’s namesake, Rick Whitney, came to the New River Valley area in 1997 and was employed as vice president of construction for SAS Construction LLC. In addition to his work, he became an avid member of the Home Builders Association, serving as builder director in 1997, vice president in 1998 and president in 1999. As a father, Rick recognized the importance of education to young people. To encourage others to pursue their dreams, this scholarship was established to honor his many accomplishments.

The NRVHBA looks forward to having this year’s recipients as future building industry members of the community and wishes them luck in their educational and career endeavors.

– Submitted by Kelsey Grow

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