Sam Sosebee is used to high achievement, whether on the cross country course or in the classroom. Jacob Reed is fascinated by science, as evidenced by his love of racing and his plans to enter the medical field.
Mr. Sosebee and Mr. Reed are the 2021 winners of the Nokian Tyres Scholarship, which rewards students in Rhea County, Tn. who share the company’s passion for STEM and sustainability. The global tiremaker, whose North American factory is located in Rhea County, is supporting their college efforts and providing each winner with a set of tires to get them to college safely.
Mr. Sosebee plans to study mechanical engineering at Milligan University in Johnston City, Tennessee, where he will also run track and cross country. He has always been driven by how things work – and by his own hard work.
“I’ve always liked working with my hands, looking at how things work and putting things together,” Mr. Sosebee said. “Nokian Tyres is a company I’ve been interested in. It’s a great company that has been supporting local events and businesses, and I think that’s awesome.”
He is prepared for the challenges of college after balancing a busy high school schedule that included classes, competitive running and work.
“Balancing everything took every culmination of my being,” said Mr. Sosebee. “I’m not the kind of person that will half do something. If I do something, I do it 100 percent.”
That includes his commitment to sustainability, which is also a core value of Nokian Tyres.
“That’s the future my kids are gonna live in,” Mr. Sosebee said. “That’s why it’s important to me, and that’s why it should be important to everyone.”
Mr. Reed loves science, whether in his biology studies or his passion for car racing.
“I’ve always had an interest in vehicles – with racing, I know how important tires are,” he said. “When Nokian Tyres opened its factory here, I thought it was interesting. It’s cool that I was able to use my hobby to further my education.”
He plans to study biology at Tennessee Tech University with a focus on health science, an interest he cultivated when he volunteered at Erlanger Hospital.
“I can’t choose a specific interaction or day, but it made me see this is what I want to do,” Mr. Reed said of the experience. “I would like to come back and help others in my community using the science I’m interested in.”
Mr. Reed also recognizes the importance of environmentally friendly practices.
“It’s a major issue above all others, because without a world to live on, there’s not much else we can do,” Mr. Reed said. “I like how electric vehicles can help with that.”
Mr. Sosebee and Mr. Reed will drive to college on new sets of tires provided by Nokian Tyres at no cost.
“We appreciate Sam and Jacob’s intelligence, values and hard work, and we’re honored to support their college journey and help them get to school safely,” said Dayton Factory Human Resources Manager Blake Markham. “Nokian Tyres continues to be an advocate for safety, sustainability and education in Southeast Tennessee and beyond.”