TRIO student wins statewide scholarship competition

A photo of Abby Summers holding her scholarship award certificate

Abby Summers began writing short stories when she was 7 years old, but her passion for writing intensified when she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 14. At that point, writing became an escape from the reality of living with an autoimmune disease. Her passion for the written word continued to grow and by the age of 15, she was a published novelist.

“I started writing to create a different world for myself. All the things I wished I could say about myself, I could write about someone else,” she said.

Summers’s book, The Unknowns, was published in 2014 by Xlibris US, a self-publishing company. Summers was invited to the Book-to-Scene Pitchfest in Hollywood where she had the opportunity to pitch her book within two minutes to 11 Hollywood executives. “If they liked your idea, they would send it to producers who might turn it into a movie or television series,” she said. 

Now a student at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville pursuing her associate of arts in general education, Summers writing talents have led her to success once again. She was selected as the recipient of the Walter O. Mason Education Foundation Scholarship. The foundation provides an annual scholarship to TRIO students in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas who have demonstrated a commitment to educational excellence. Summers was selected as the Arkansas recipient by the Arkansas Association of Student Assistance Programs. She was required to submit an application, letters of recommendation and an essay to compete for the scholarship. 

A native of Tuckerman, Summers skipped a grade during her home schooling and was able to begin her college journey early. “I love college. I wanted to have the experience of being in a classroom setting with teachers. I came to UACCB and fell in love with it. I knew this was where I needed to be and that UACCB will prepare me for whatever I decide to do next,” she said. “I was scared to death the first time I attended classes, but it was also very exciting. Everything I do here has helped me develop better people skills.”

And she has taken advantage of multiple opportunities to develop those skills. Summers is a student ambassador, a member of the Renaissance Club, secretary for the Student Government Association and has been a student worker in TRIO. Summers said she is considering transferring to the University of Central Arkansas or Arkansas Tech University after completing her associates. She would like to double major in creative writing and theatre. “I’d love to be a screenwriter or a novelist. I have to do something in entertainment. That’s my passion,” Summer said.