Jessi Ward, a senior at Webster County High School, has been awarded a $2,500 per year Citizens Bank of West Virginia Emerging Leaders Scholarship to Davis & Elkins College for a total of $10,000 over four years.

Davis & Elkins, Citizens Bank of West Virginia and WDTV partnered to offer the unique scholarship competition. All 2022 West Virginia high school graduates, whether attending a public, private or homeschool, with a 3.25 or higher GPA were eligible to apply. Impressed with the high caliber of applicants, College officials decided to offer multiple scholarships in addition to the selection of one student who received a full, four-year scholarship.

Applicants were required to submit a list of high school and community activities, along with an essay based on the topic, “If you receive this scholarship, how will you pay it forward to the state of West Virginia?”

Ward is the daughter of Melinda Salisbury of Cowen. At Webster County High School, she is a member of National Honor Society, the debate team and volleyball team. She was selected to participate in Health Sciences & Technology Academy.

At Davis & Elkins College, Ward plans to major in political science with a minor in pre-law and later attend law school, then work as a criminal defense attorney.

“My whole life I’ve dreamed of making the world a better place one step at a time and this scholarship will let me live out that dream,” Ward wrote.

Davis & Elkins College offers more than 45 academic programs. Multiple scholarship opportunities are available including the College’s annual $5.4 million investment in West Virginia students. For additional information, call 304-637-1230 or visit

Jessi Ward

Jessi Ward