Don’t Do Drugs $600 Scholarship



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Don’t Do Drugs

$600 Scholarship

This scholarship is given in memory of John Matthew Piepenbrink, uncle of HHS senior, Eli Gates. Johnny was a stand-out athlete in basketball and baseball for Huntington East High School in Huntington, WV. He finished high school in 1986 and then received an athletic scholarship to Marshall University from where he graduated after playing baseball for four years as a 2nd baseman.

Along with his athletic abilities, Johhny was an AP student. Test scores and grades were never a problem for him. He was handsome, smart, athletic, charismatic, and the world was his for the taking.

In his early teens, he began casual drinking at parties, which later led to marijuana use with a few friends. Over the course of several years, beer and pot were not enough, which caused him to use on a grander scale. He ultimately lost his life in 2012 from an accidental prescription drug overdose. Johnny would have denied that the decision, all those years ago in high school to take the first drink, would lead him to a tragic end of life in 2012.

High school is a time when you begin making real decisions for your future. It’s a time when choices WILL affect your life in ways you won’t realize for years to come. One of the most critical decisions you will ever make is to say YES or NO when peer pressure finds you. And it will.

GPA, Class Rank, Extra Curricular Activities, Honors, or Athletic Ability have no bearing on selection for this scholarship. Because people, just like Johnny, with all of those accomplishments can still fall victim to drugs. There are 5 requirements only.


  1. A 2016 Hedgesville graduating Senior

  2. Will attend a college or technical school in the fall after graduation

  3. Complete the brief application due on or before January 22

  4. Write a 400-500 word double spaced essay described below, also due on or before Jan 22.

We do not want to read someone else’s composition. We want your original thoughts and ideas.

  1. Must be able to attend the February 5, 2016 HHS Boys Basketball game

After reading the brief excerpt above on Johnny’s struggle, please give serious thought behind the phrase “Don’t Do Drugs.” Write a 400-500 word essay to share your thoughts/ideas.

Submit the essay as a PDF to Mrs. Brown. Please do not reference your name on the essay. (Your name will be on the application, but not the essay.) Mrs. Brown will submit all essays to the selection committee. Those members will NOT know who wrote the essay. It will be reviewed for sincerity, thought, and true life situations. You can replace real names with fictitious names to protect identities. This is not meant to hurt or humiliate any person. It is meant to make you take a deep look at this life altering decision that for so many, is made in high school.



Don’t Do Drugs Scholarship Application

Please write legibly. If we can’t read it, you limit your chance of receiving the scholarship.

Name ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ _______________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

Contact Number _______________________________________________

Age _______________________________________________

What technical school or college do you plan to attend after high school? _____________________

Have you been accepted? _____________________

What specific job do you plan to have after college graduation? _____________________



On or before January 22 2016, electronically submit a PDF of your 400-500 word essay to Mrs. Brown with “Don’t Do Drugs scholarship” in the topic line. Do not put your name on the essay, only in the topic line. She will submit all essays anonymously to the selection committee. Also, print a copy and attach it to this application and submit them to Mrs. Brown. It must be completed in Word and must be double spaced. The scholarship winner will be announced on Feb 5, 2016 at the Hedgesville High School Boys Basketball game. Winner must be present.

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