Our law firm was thrilled to see the talent, creativity and dedication among those who applied for our 2020 scholarship awards. We received many well-researched and thoughtful entries from high school, college and graduate students from throughout the country.

The attorneys of McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, had asked students to provide an essay of 600 words or less or a video of two minutes or less in which they responded to the following question:

“Have you or someone you know been affected by drunk driving? In what ways has it made or would it make you a safer driver?”

We appreciate every entry that we received, and we would love to award a scholarship to every applicant. However, we had to choose only two winners. The funds which they receive will go towards their costs of pursuing a higher education.

We thank every student who submitted an essay or video and wish everyone the best as they move forward.

1st Place: Emerald Bell

From: Arizona
Attending: University of Arizona

Emerald is a Registered Nurse working in Arizona who is continuing her education at The University of Arizona by pursuing a PhD in Nursing.

Read her essay here.


2nd Place: Adam Callis

From: Springfield, TN
Attending: Tennessee State University

A college sophomore at Volunteer State Community College, Adam is studying History with the intention of becoming a grade school History teacher. Married for 6 years with three young children, he is a returning college student seeking to advance his career and better provide for his family.

Read his essay here.

Attorney Gary Lemel provide Legal Services in Rock Hill

Gary C. Lemel is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Wake Forest University School of Law who has deep background as a criminal defense attorney in Rock Hill. Over the course of his career, he has handled everything from traffic violations to death penalty litigation. His current practice spans multiple counties and focuses on cases involving driving under the influence, drug charges and high-level felonies. He has served on the board of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and as a member of the South Carolina Bar’s Judicial Qualifications Committee and Public Defender Standards Committee. He was recently named a Lawyer of the Year from the S.C. Bar’s Law-Related Education Division for his work preparing middle and high school students for mock trial competitions.