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GSK presents college scholarships to Triangle Region, NC students who have overcome adversity to pursue their dreams


Media representatives are invited to GSK to attend a special event honoring the 2018 winners of the GSK Opportunity Scholarship program.  GSK Opportunity Scholarships are awarded to Triangle residents who have overcome significant adversity and are changing their lives through higher education.  Recipients receive up to $20,000 for tuition, books and other educational expenses. The scholarship was established with the Triangle Community Foundation in 1988 through a GSK endowment.


The scholarships will be presented Tuesday, June 19, at 12:00p.m. by Kimberly Gooden, Vice President, Infrastructure Services, GSK.   Scholarship recipients will be available for interviews following the brief ceremony or upon request.  


GSK, 5 Moore Drive, US Pharmaceuticals Building, RTP, NC 27709-3398

Please note: We request that all reporters interested in attending the event contact Marti Skold-Jordan at: or at 919-328-0507.


Janet Golden lost her son to complications from chemotherapy and suffered severe emotional trauma during and after her son’s death. Her goal since then has been to ensure that disease does not destroy individual or family life and to help mitigate the emotional, social, and economic effects of disease through counseling and other interventions.  She is working to achieve her Master of Social Work at NC State University to prepare for a career in a healthcare, hospice, EAP, or non-profit setting.

Alexa Penwell was diagnosed five years ago with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), that is characterized by a progressive weakening of her skeletal muscles. This rare genetic condition impacts her face, shoulders, arms, and legs.  Despite having less energy to devote to school than most, she worked hard and maintained a 4.5 GPA. Alexa is enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will pursue a Bachelor of Biology and plans to continue into postgraduate work in genetics.

Travien Snow was raised by his mother, a single parent who suffered from financial struggles and healthcare issues.  Travien’s mother emphasized the importance of education and one of his greatest accomplishments during those adverse times was being an honor roll student, both A and A/B, from kindergarten through his senior year of high school. Travien aspires to study Business Marketing at East Carolina University.

Emily Swink struggled through many adverse childhood experiences which lead to hospitalization for depression and anxiety. She excelled academically knowing that pushing herself and getting good grades would help her move on from her past and give her the chance at a brighter future. She plans to use her education to pursue a career in nursing to help others who go through adverse childhood experiences. Emily will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working toward a degree in Nursing.

About GSK – GSK is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.