Share America Foundation chooses young singer for scholarship

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its first 2012 scholarship winner recently at its Sacred Sounds Fridays concert at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga.

The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” The scholarships honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

Nicholas Hickman, 12, of Ringgold, Ga. was selected as the Catoosa County Designee for the scholarship. He attends Ringgold Middle School.

“One of our annual scholarships is set aside for a performer from Catoosa County, Ga. There were no applicants from Catoosa this year, so the board of directors chose to select a candidate and award the 2012 scholarship in the year that candidate attends college,” Franks said. “Nicholas is carrying on the traditional music of this region through his learning the basics of vocal techniques used in gospel singing for generations.”

The requirements for designees to receive the scholarship are to fulfill the application requirements in the year he or she enrolls in college immediately following graduation and to continue performing the Appalachian musical style of their choice, according to Franks.

Hickman began singing at the age of three when he stepped on stage with entertainer James Rogers. Recently, Nicholas was winner of Georgia’s “Gospel’s Got Talent” contest, where he placed first in his division. Prior to this, he led his elementary school chorus to receive a second call back with “America’s Got Talent” auditions in Atlanta.

Within the last year, he has traveled with show choir, “SingAkadamie” to Hawaii, where he received a three minute standing ovation at the 3000 seat Blaisdale Concert Hall, singing his signature song, “Amen,” arranged by his private vocal coach, and talent advisor, Sheri Thrower.

He was recently featured on a gospel music video with gospel music legend Phil Cross.

Nicholas is the son of Brent and Barbara Hickman and brother of Zach Carmical, all of Ringgold Ga. He is the grandson of Edward and Carolyn Hickman of Ringgold, Ga. and Jack and Mary Cooper of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, president; Joe Turner, chairman; Gene Lowery, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president and Adam Cathey.

The next concert is July 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Watkins Family and Mountain Cove Bluegrass at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold. Admission is a $5 donation.

For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit