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ARPBA Scholarship Recipient Shelby Ross


By Cindy Baugher


Academics, work, sports, and volunteering, Shelby Ross managed it all during her high school career in Clarksville, Arkansas. Shelby earned many awards at graduation from Clarksville High School in 2023 for just how well she managed all these endeavors. Most notably, she was an honor graduate and an Arkansas Activities Association Active Scholar award winner. She also achieved the status of All State Softball for 2022 and 2023, as well as All Conference Softball and Most Valuable Player for those same years. She was named Player of the Month for basketball in January 2023 and earned the Most Improved Award for basketball in 2023. Aside from these visible recognitions, Shelby was also a swimmer and donated one thousand hours as a lifeguard. She enjoyed donating her time and energy every December to the Shop with a Cop holiday event. In addition to her volunteer time, Shelby worked as a clerk at her local movie theater and as a certified Red Cross lifeguard at Clarksville Aquatic Center. Membership in Beta Club and Women of Will completed her full plate of involvement. All her hard work led to Shelby recently being awarded a PBF Scholarship for Arkansas.


Shelby Ross receives her scholarship check from ARPBA River Valley Chapter President Jamie Gray. Also pictured with Ross is her dad, Jeff.


Growing up in Clarksville, Arkansas, Shelby says she “started Kindergarten and was lucky enough to grow up and graduate with the same classmates. In my small town of Clarksville, everybody knows everybody.” She has chosen to attend the University of Arkansas Fort Smith so that she’ll be able to commute and keep working at her current job. She is planning to earn a radiology technology certification so that she can work in a hospital or doctor's office in the future to be able to help diagnose people through imaging.


Shelby’s dad has been in law enforcement for 28 years with the Clarksville Police Department. He started out as a radio dispatcher while working his way through college. He continued up through the ranks and now serves as Chief of Police for the same department. Since her father is a PBA member, Shelby was eligible to apply for this scholarship. Of her dad, she says, “I’m so incredibly proud of Dad, how he unselfishly serves the community, helping people daily, and of how hard he has worked over the years.” It’s no wonder that she calls her dad the greatest influence in her life. She says she’s had “the honor of listening to the stories of how he has helped people through his career. He has inspired me to get my radiology technology certification so I can have the education to be able to medically help people.” Following in her dad’s footsteps by entering a helping profession seems in character for Shelby. Quite a few people have told her that she looks like her mom, but the minute she opens her mouth, her dad comes out in her words and actions.


Another person who’s made a significant impact on Shelby’s life is her softball coach, Nicole Possage. She calls her coach “a tough leader who always pushed my team and me to be the best we could be. In the beginning of each season, she would always schedule games that were above our district classification to provide us with some really awesome competition. As the season went on, these scheduled games made us tougher and more bonded together as a team.” When not involved in softball or academics, Shelby enjoys hanging out with her friends, and playing volleyball or basketball.


Shelby with her senior year softball awards.


It is apparent that Shelby has had a strong background. She describes her family by saying, “My mom and dad have been married for twenty-five years. My brother, who’s a freshman in high school, and I grew up in a very loving environment and were blessed to be raised by both of them.”


Shelby Ross, pictured with her family at her high school graduation.


Of the PBF scholarship, Shelby describes herself as very humbly honored and so grateful.  A favorite quote of hers comes from the movie, The Lion King: “The past can hurt. But you can either run from it or learn from it.” The meaning she takes from this is to not run from your past and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Always learn something from life. With her solid upbringing, the lessons from her life so far, and a PBF scholarship to help her get started, Shelby is poised for future success.

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Academics, work, sports, and volunteering, Shelby Ross managed it all during her high school career in Clarksville, Arkansas.

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As a daughter of a law enforcement officer and PBA member, Weathers applied for and won a scholarship from the Police Benevolent Foundation.

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