Clemson University Feature Stories

Bred to be a Tiger – Sally Yon

By Rebecca Shepherd and Crystal Boyles
Creative Services

Sally Yon grew up on her family’s farm in Ridge Spring, S.C., and though she graduated from one of the smallest public high schools in the state, she has big plans for her future.

Being a Clemson student has been a dream of hers for as long as she can remember. One of her great-grandparents, three grandparents, both parents, and four aunts and uncles have Clemson degrees.

Yon plans on carrying on the family tradition, paying for her entire college career herself — with the help of a few scholarships, of course. So far, the rising junior agricultural education major has racked up 21 scholarships with awards ranging from $500 to $5,000. To date, she’s earned more than $36,000 to subsidize her college costs.

“Support from groups that have given scholarships is tremendous; they are so generous and I really appreciate all they do for young people,” she said.

What’s her secret? Yon’s career interest combines two areas she’s passionate about: young people and agriculture. She’s been able to turn some of her favorite hobbies into scholarship generators. She won many of her awards through participating in 4-H and FFA.

One of her unique hobbies is exhibiting livestock. She has shown cattle, lambs, horses, hogs and even a chicken when she was in 4-H and FFA — not something most students can say they’ve done.

Last November, Yon was crowned Miss American Angus in Louisville, Ky., after being a top-five scholarship applicant in the American Angus Auxiliary Scholarship contest. During the competition, contestants had to give a speech, do an interview, take a test on Angus knowledge and have lunch with the judges.

“This role has given me the opportunity to travel many places and represent the Angus breed,” said Yon, who as an Angus ambassador, assists with shows, educational events, field days and additional activities to educate others about the breed and the benefits of Angus beef.

Ultimately, her goal is to graduate from Clemson and become a high school agriculture teacher.