The cost of a college education will be a little less for some Bibb County high school graduates who were awarded Peyton Anderson Foundation scholarships Tuesday.
The scholarships, awarded to 22 high school seniors this year, provide between $2,500 and $7,500 annually to students who demonstrate academic promise, strong character, community involvement, and financial need, according to the foundations website.
This years recipients were honored at a luncheon at Macon State College. Juanita Jordan, president of the Peyton Anderson Foundation and founder of the Peyton Anderson Scholarship, presided over the event.
The scholarship was founded in 2009 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Peyton Anderson Foundation, Jordan said. Andersons will left instructions to set up the foundation with the wish to continue to give back to the people of Middle Georgia, she said.
Jeff Allbritten, president of Macon State College, congratulated the award recipients.
With the honor of this award comes the responsibility of improving the quality of life ... here or wherever you go, he said.
Scholarship recipients must complete 20 hours of community service each year and keep a 3.0 grade point average to maintain their scholarship.
Kasey Darley, a chemistry major at the University of Georgia who received the scholarship in 2009, shared her experience organizing a service day for scholars in Macon last summer. She said she was inspired when she participated in an alternative spring break program, leading a group of volunteers on a trip to Philadelphia.
The service group she organized worked with Rebuilding Macon to help low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners.
They logged 273 service hours in four days.
Zach Ennis, a psychology major at the University of Georgia and a 2010 scholar, said he welcomed the sense of community the scholarship offers him.
The moment I met everyone involved with the Peyton Anderson Foundation, I knew I had received much more than a scholarship, he said.
He thanked the scholarship for giving him the opportunity to come alive.
The students receiving scholarships this year participated in a variety of activities in high school, including student government, athletics, journalism, music and volunteering.
Natalie Farris, a 2012 recipient from Rutland High School, plans to attend Georgia College & State University to major in pharmacy. She hopes to be a pharmacist someday and is glad to have a strong support network through the foundation.
Its not just a scholarship where they give you money, she said. They form a relationship.
Another 2012 scholar, Rachel Lynn Robertson, hopes to use her college education to benefit the Macon community. She graduated from First Presbyterian Day School and is heading to the University of Georgia in the fall for a degree in physical therapy. She said she plans to come back home after school and provide physical therapy to disabled children.
Scholarships were awarded to the following students Tuesday, including where they will attend college:
Robert Lee Bell, Rutland High School, University of Georgia;
Sterling Margaret Blankenship, Howard High School, Georgia State University;
Kelsey Alyse Burnam, Rutland High School, University of Georgia;
Natalie Farris, Rutland High School, Georgia College and State University;
Dillon Raymond Fowler, Westside High School, Mercer University;
Jeffrey Ryan Gardner, Mount de Sales Academy, University of Georgia;
Afrika Khadijah Hamilton, Central High School, Mercer University;
Shannon DeShawn Hand, Northeast High School, Georgia State University;
Ciara Chanelle Haugabrook, Rutland High School, University of Georgia;
Camilla Ashleigh Herndon, Rutland High School, University of Georgia;
Juawn Antonio Jackson, Westside High School, Georgia College & State University;
Mary Belema James, Central High School, Georgia State University;
Kaitlynn Victoria Jones, First Presbyterian Day School, Mercer University;
Dorian Andrew Lowery, Northeast High School, Georgia Southern University;
Alexandria Kendrell Pounds, Central High School, Georgia Southern University;
Darryl Lee Releford, Westside High School, Georgia State University;
Rachel Lynn Robertson, First Presbyterian Day School, University of Georgia;
Brittany Nicole Scott, Central High School, Georgia State University;
Joshua Thomas Shealy, First Presbyterian Day School, University of Georgia;
Timothy Michael Smith, Howard High School, Georgia Southern University;
Katelyn Ivey Sutton, First Presbyterian Day School, Georgia College & State University
Matthew Collier Tyson, First Presbyterian Day School, University of Georgia.
To contact writer Liz Bibb, call 744-4425.