I went to public school here in Kentucky, raised by a blue-collar family and a single mom. Now I’m living the American Dream. What better proof that a better life can be available in this country to all who seek it?
For that reason, I am proud to announce the winner of the inaugural Nate Morris Prize, Ms. Mackenzie Pittman.
Like me, Mackenzie attended Eastern High School in Louisville. She graduated in the Class of 2020, and plans to use the prize money to attend the University of Louisville this Fall to study nursing.
Mackenzie embodies the spirit of what makes Kentuckians great, and she is living proof that excellence can be found anywhere in this great country, not just on the coasts.
Mackenzie was an outstanding student at Eastern, graduating with a 4.1 grade point average, and was named a Hugh O-Brian Youth Ambassador. She was vice president of the student council, a member of National Honors Society and was active in the school’s cheer team, chamber choir, and spirit club. She has also been active in her community as a charity volunteer and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her graduating class.
Mackenzie stood out from her high school peers, quoting in one of her application essays the great quote from Maya Angelou that “making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’”
I established the Nate Morris Prize through the Morris Foundation, and with the help of my great high school teacher, Ms. Ginny Speaks, so that talented young people like Mackenzie might get the help they need to take the next step in accomplishing their dreams.
I graduated from Eastern with the class of 1999, and was President of my class. Since then I’ve worked in Washington, founded a multi-billion dollar company, and established the Morris Foundation. Like Mackenzie, I am proof that you don’t have to start with a wealthy family or be born on the coasts to do great things. And I hope that this prize gives her the boost she needs to achieve her greatest dreams.
The annual Nate Morris Prize, a $10,000 grant towards college tuition, is available to graduating Eastern High School students who plan to attend college in Kentucky, and will be awarded each year to Eastern’s most outstanding graduating senior.
Congratulations Mackenzie. And may you continue to strive for excellence.