VTAA Charlotte 2015 Scholarship Winners

Each year, members of the Charlotte Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association volunteer countless hours in order to fund scholarships for two local students of the incoming freshman class. This year we were fortunate to have eighteen outstanding applicants for the two scholarships. The Charlotte Chapter would have been privileged to have any of those applicants represent us.

We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to this year’s recipients:


Betty Mackenzie Lewis, attends David W. Butler High School, and is the daughter of Jeff and Amy Lewis of Matthews, NC.

Mackenzie has greater than a 4.0 GPA and has held various officer level positions at Butler including President of the student council her senior year. Furthermore, she led efforts related to the Special Olympics, served as part of the Senior Mentor and Peer Tutor programs, and was Team Captain of the school’s women’s varsity tennis team, among many other activities.

Mackenzie’s academic achievements are significant and warrant their own merit, but it is within the community where she really shines. She has served over 700 volunteer hours with various organizations including the aforementioned Special Olympics, Bright Blessings Charity, Charlotte Good Neighbor Fund, Young Life, and a host of others. Her honors and awards over the years are truly too numerous to mention, but include the US Congressional Gold Award, the Ronald Regan Student Leader Award, the International Leadership Network “Leader of Tomorrow” Award, and many, many others.

Ut Prosim perfectly describes Mackenzie. She wrote in her essay, “I will attend Virginia Tech because of their passion for serving others. Virginia Tech is a perfect match for me because serving others is the way I live. It is our moral obligation as humans to help each other and give back to our communities in times of need.” Mackenzie plans on majoring in Human Development while at Virginia Tech and wants to become an Occupational Therapist.


John Joseph Battiston, III attends Hickory Christian Academy. His parents, both of whom happen to be Virginia Tech graduates, are John (’90) and Lee Anne (Cobb – ’89) Battiston, Jr. of Hickory, NC.

At Hickory Christian Academy John also carried greater than a 4.0 GPA while holding officer positions in the school’s student council and Beta Club. Additionally, he was the student praise band worship leader, and participated as a member of Hickory Christian’s Mock Trial Team, Model United Nations Team, and The Academy Players Drama Program. He has received numerous awards and honors for his academic accomplishments.

Within his community, John was a member of Boy’s State, the Catawba County Youth Council, and the NC Youth Legislative Assembly. Additionally, he was a member of the Piedmont Percussion Program, the Pandemic Steel Drum Band, and the Harvest Bible Chapel Band. He has worked as a private drum instructor, and as a peer tutor for math and Spanish, and volunteered as part of Frye Hospital’s VolunTEEN program.

John has been accepted to Virginia Tech’s Architecture program and Virginia Tech’s Honors Program, and will major in Architecture. In his application essay John wrote, “I know I want to be an architect. Virginia Tech’s architecture program carries impressive rankings, but its particular emphasis on space and energy conservation, along with opportunities like attending the Steger Center in Switzerland, made Virginia Tech my top choice.”


Congratulations to John and Mackenzie and to all of the exceptional members of the class of 2019 from the Charlotte area!