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Torbert at James Clemens surprised, excited at scholarship

Shelton L. Torbert Jr., center, scholarship recipient with the Rocket City Tailgate Challenge, is congratulated by Lite 96.9 radio personalities John Malone and Bonny O'Brien. (CONTRIBUTED)
Shelton L. Torbert Jr., center, scholarship recipient with the Rocket City Tailgate Challenge, is congratulated by Lite 96.9 radio personalities John Malone and Bonny O’Brien. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Shelton L. Torbert Jr., a James Clemens High School senior, earned a scholarship that centered on his passion — football.

Torbert, a Jets running back, received a $1,000 scholarship in the Rocket City Tailgate Challenge essay contest on Aug. 16 at the Von Braun Center.

In his 700-word essay, Torbert had to state his educational goals and ways to reach them, along with impact of his community service. He explained his family’s plight in Virginia when his father got an excellent job offer here:

“My mother had just started a great job, and then her mom died. Our family made the decision to separate in hopes of a transfer for my mom.”

“For 10 months while our family was separated, I sustained a 3.8 GPA and higher. As I prepare for graduation, I’m proud to say through some difficult times, the hard work is paying off.”

He felt “total surprise” upon receiving the scholarship. “My mom keeps telling me, even though hard work I’ve been doing academically may seem unnoticed, this is my year to see the ‘fruits’ of my efforts,” Torbert said.

Torbert belongs to National Honor Society, engineering societies, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Boys & Girls Club. He helps the audio-visual team at St. Luke Christian Church. He has earned numerous academic awards and will attend Accounting Career Awareness at the University of Alabama.

“I’ve played football since third grade. It’s one thing I’ve always wanted to do,” Torbert said. His 2013 season ended early due to a concussion.

“We have a great coach who took a struggling program and greatly changed our mindset … towards ourselves, football and life,” Torbert said.

His parents are Shelton Sr. and Yvette Torbert, both U.S. Army veterans. He works for the Department of Defense. She works for the Department of Treasury.

Shelton Jr. is interested in UA in Tuscaloosa and at Birmingham, along with Alabama State and Auburn universities. Planning a career in mechanical engineering, Torbert acknowledges James Clemens teacher Greg Ennis for valuable experience.

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