Kent Locklear of Lumberton Honda presents Keonna Love with her new car at Driven 2 Excel 2023.

Never EVER leave early. That’s a lesson that Keonna Love of St. Pauls High School almost learned the hard way Friday night at the 2023 Beasley Media Group Driven 2 Excel event.

Love won a brand new 2023 Honda Civic from Lumberton Honda, thanks to her great grades, and attendance – both at school, and at the event.

“I didn’t think I was going to win, so we were leaving,” Love said as she sat in her new car. “Then my sister was like ‘I think they said your name,’ and I came running back.”

It was a nice bit of good luck for someone who says she is getting all the luck lately, though her mom said she’s worked hard for all of this. Love is the valedictorian at St. Paul High School, and has big plans for college at North Carolina State University.

Love plans to major in Business Administration, and has already received a full-ride scholarship for her studies there.

“I’m very excited to give my car to my sister so I can drive this new one,” Love said. “Lots of good things are happened for me right now. I don’t even know where all this luck is coming from for me.”

Beasley Media of Fayetteville (Foxy 99, The Big 95.7 KML, My Kiss Radio, Sunny 94.3, 96.5 BOB FM, 107.7 The Bounce) awarded Love the car from Lumberton Honda for her academic and attendance achievements this school year. To qualify, Robeson County Schools students had to maintain a GPA of 3.2 for each grading period of the 2022-2023 school year, and have had no more than five unexcused absences.

“I didn’t think we had a chance at this, but she does deserve this,” Keonna’s mom Jennifer Love said. “She’s very deserving and she’s very sweet. She’s involved in so much, and I’m proud of her.”

A record 325 students qualified for this year’s event, proving that the program is working!

“When they say it takes everyone to raise a child, it really does,” Katy Lollis, the Director of Sales and Assistant Market Manager for Beasley Media Fayetteville said. “When we first started this program, we had a total of 197 seniors eligible for the car and the scholarships. We are so thankful to our sponsors from Lumberton Honda and Piedmont Natural Gas.

Lumberton Honda has been the car sponsor for the event for several years now, and for Kent Locklear, the General Manager of Lumberton Honda, giving back to the community is incredibly important.

“I like that we give back to the community and we invest in the youth, who truly are the future of everything,” Locklear said. “It’s nice to inspire someone to have good grades, and to go to school, and to be able to look at the end of the year, and think they have a shot at a new car. It was wonderful to know that our winner is someone who is truly deserving of the car this year.”

Additionally, six $1,000 scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors by Piedmont Natural Gas.

“Even if you do not receive a scholarship or a car today, let me tell you, job well done,” said Tammy Thurman, Senior Communications Relations Manager at Piedmont Natural Gas.

The scholarship winners representing the six Robeson County schools were:

  • Shiasia Morgan – Fairmont High School
  • London Dunlap – Lumberton Senior High School
  • Carmella Locklear – Purnell Swett High School
  • Destiny Locklear – Red Springs High School
  • Ayoub Abudaya – Early College High School
  • Harley Chavis – St. Paul’s High School

And new this year, Lumberton Honda chipped in $1,000 to reward one lucky local teacher for their hard work this year too. Sandra Jean Clements from W.H. Knuckles Elementary School was the winner this year.

Beasley Media Group, Robeson County Schools, Lumberton Honda and Piedmont Natural Gas are proudly supporting the 2023 Driven 2 Excel program in Robeson County.

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.