Local Teen Receives Inaugural Auburn University Camp Scholarship With Proceeds From Street Names Book
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Local Auburn teenager Kounte Threadgill is the recipient of the Gatsy Rice Campership, Auburn University’s inaugural camp scholarship funded by the recently released book, “Auburn: A History in Street Names.”
Threadgill, 15, is credited with acting heroically when a fire engulfed his family’s home in 2020. Just 13 at the time, he walked through the blaze to rescue his four younger siblings who were separated by the flames in different rooms of the house. Thanks to his courageous action, he and his family were safely out of the house by the time the firefighters arrived.
“I wasn’t thinking, I was just playing,” Threadgill said.
Threadgill, who loves math and science and dreams of one day being a doctor, chose to attend ACT Bootcamp with the scholarship. The week-long camp provides an in-depth review of the ACT exam and introduces students to the admissions process, career services, and student engagement opportunities at Auburn University.
Written by Sam Hendrix, “Auburn: A Story in Street Names” tells a comprehensive story of the city of Auburn through a look at street names. Hendrix spent most of his college career as a public relations and development professional.
Proceeds from book sales fund an endowment at the university to provide academic camp scholarships for Auburn’s youth programs. The “campingships”, which cover the cost of registration, accommodation on campus and meals, offer young people from the region the opportunity to participate in week-long academic summer camps at the university.
Each camp scholarship is named after notable people whose stories are told throughout the book. Gatsy Rice, after whom the inaugural scholarship is named, came to Auburn in the 1840s as a servant in a local house. Although born into slavery, Rice had an entrepreneurial spirit that allowed her to climb the economic ladder.
After the war, she prospered as a freelance seamstress—fixing uniforms for East Alabama Male College cadets and others around town—and running a boarding house. She eventually owned property in downtown Auburn and Opelika.
The book debuted in 2021 and sold out in 29 days. A second printing is now available for purchase at Auburn-area bookstores and online. For more information about the book, to make a purchase, or the Sam and Mary Ellen Hendrix Endowment Fund for Excellence in the Office of University Outreach, visit aub.ie/auburnstreetnames.
Auburn Youth Programs, a program area within the university’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education, is an extension of University Outreach that sponsors and runs a variety of summer programs designed to educate and inspire young people. To learn more about Auburn’s youth programs, visit auburn.edu/summercamps.