STEVENSVILLE — Each year, the Kent Island Heritage Society awards a scholarship to a graduating senior from Kent Island High School. To be eligible, the applicant must be a second generation Kent Island native, with at least one parent born on Kent Island, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, and have performed community service.
This year the scholarship recipient was Class of 2020 graduate Steve Kougoures Jr., of Kirwan’s Landing, Chester.
In addition to his academic excellence, Steve’s Kent Island ancestry goes “all the way back” — extending nearly four centuries through the Baxter family line of Rodger Baxter, a millwirght, who arrived to join William Claiborne’s new settlement at Kent Fort.
In Steve’s essay, he shared the deep pride he values in his long and important Kent Island heritage.
He wrote: “In 14 years, my family will celebrate 400 years of Kent Island heritage since Rodger Baxter came to Kent Island and started building a family in 1634 .... Being that my family has continued on the island for nearly 400 years is incredible. The Baxters were here on Kent Island for 142 years before the U.S. became an independent nation ... the Baxter family has taken a role in building Kent Island history ... the Bay Bridge, local seafood trade, a packing plant at the Narrows, to sell all over the East Coast .... Many of my relatives are buried on the Kirwan’s Store property in the Kirwans/Baxter cemetery .... I believe the importance of heritage is learning where I come from.”
An Eagle Scout, Steve plans to attend Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport to pursue a degree in welding and metal fabrication engineering.