MOUNT OLIVE — Mt. Olive Pickle Company’s Employees Community Fund has awarded four $1,500 scholarships to children of employees.
Recipients are Joel R. Espinoza, Joshua D. Joyner, Katelyn W. Williams, and Madeline O. Muston.
Espinoza is the son of Mt. Olive employee Ricardo Espinoza and Michelle Espinoza of Mount Olive. A senior at Southern Wayne High School, he intends to attend East Carolina University in the fall.
Joyner is the son of Mt. Olive employee Angela Joyner and Danny Joyner of Four Oaks. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Appalachian State University, and is now seeking a second undergraduate degree in crop science from N.C. State University. He intends to work in and eventually run the family farm, Joyner Farms.
Miss Williams is the daughter of Mt. Olive employee Lynn Williams and Michael Williams of Mount Olive. A 2016 graduate of Southern Wayne High School, she is a rising sophomore majoring in cellular biology at the University of Georgia. She hopes to become a medical researcher.
Miss Muston is the daughter of Mt. Olive employee Patrick Muston and Jennifer Muston of the Grantham community. She is also a 2016 graduate of Southern Wayne High School. A rising sophomore at Liberty University, Miss Muston is seeking an undergraduate degree in elementary education with the goal of becoming a teacher.
A reception for the four recipients and their families was held May 17 at Mt. Olive Pickle.
The scholarships, created by the Employees Community Fund in 2006, are open to employees who are regular, active employees at Mt. Olive for five or more years and also members of the Employees Community Fund for the past three years. The scholarships are also open to eligible employees’ children, step-children, or grandchildren who are either high school seniors or full-time college students with at least 12 hours.
Established in 1959, the Employees Community Fund is supported by Mt. Olive employees, who donate 30 cents of every $100 of their gross wages to the fund. The company then matches employee contributions. This year, the Employees Community Fund contributed $130,575 to 49 area nonprofit community organizations, in addition to the scholarships.
In business since 1926, Mt. Olive packs and sells the best-selling brand of pickles, peppers and relishes in the country.