Education Together is a partnership among The Telegraph and the following businesses and community organizations. For information about the scholarship, including how to apply, go here.
"I hope we can change the lives of students who aspire to go to college but can’t afford it or are working multiple jobs in order to attend. We can assist them in creating a foundation, to strengthen themselves, their family and community. That’s my hope, to open a door that otherwise might not open. There are kids who think they can’t go to college because of money, and there’s no one to push them and to say, yes you can. I’m hopeful Education Together can make students and families aware of educational opportunities and change some lives."
-- Terry Smith, regional manager
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"I believe that great things will come out of this initiative – multiple partners pooling resources and working together to highlight what is right and good in our students; to congratulate them, to lift them up as shining examples of what can be. Any time we’re able to celebrate the success of students collectively – it sends the right message to the community. Education Together sends a wonderful message about hope and opportunity."
-- Ivan Allen, president
"Through Education Together, I hope students who didn’t think it possible to further their education after high school will be motivated to graduate from high school and take advantage of this opportunity to help fund additional education. Hopefully, the students will make plans for their future and for a career, and Education Together will have a cascading effect – sparking younger students to apply for the scholarship themselves when they’re ready to graduate."
-- Kathryn Dennis, president
At Fort Valley State University, we hope to positively impact the lives of Middle Georgia students who desire a higher education, but who struggle to pursue one without the benefit of financial assistance.
-- Paul Jones, president
"We hope to provide more access to education. There are students who have completed their primary education and want to go to college, and while there are plenty of colleges in Middle Georgia to attend – they can’t afford it. I hope Education Together will provide that access to those students. My father was the first in his family to go to college. An educations changes a person’s life, a family’s life and the lives of every generation in that family ever after."
-- Rhett Rayburn, Vice President of Southeast Operations
"Human beings have the ability to do remarkable things and that starts with a serious commitment by community leaders. I’m hoping Education Together can be a catalyst to get young people college and career ready, to graduate from high school with options, like the opportunity to continue their education. Options are the essence of freedom and if we have young people graduating from high school prepared and with options we will have done a tremendous service for our region."
-- Cliffard Whitby, chairman
"It’s incumbent upon diverse groups of people across the communities to develop strategies to combat generational poverty. This investment in educational scholarships makes Middle Georgia more attractive and provides pathways for students that lead to somewhere they care about going. With Education Together we must have clear and concrete goals, monitor our progress and hold ourselves accountable. We also need to develop internship programs and expose students to successful people. Our hope is that Education Together is a significant part of the puzzle to help more young people achieve their potential."
-- Bibb Underwood, president
"We must increase our community partners and create a continuum of educational support that starts early in children’s lives and lasts through college. Education Together is expanding college access and encouraging young people to stay in the area, providing measureable benefits to the community. I hope we will broaden experiences for students through internships, to show them there are good job opportunities in Middle Georgia. We joined Education Together to make an investment in intelligence."
-- Sam Hart, president
"I applaud this initiative and am hopeful Education Together can achieve resilience, conviction and intelligence, which I understand as problem solving and connection to the community. Education Together has both a community and a business dimension with the potential to be an incentive to the K-12 systems across the region to help students gain access to higher education. I can see synergy here between K-12 and higher education."
-- Christopher Blake, president
"I believe Education Together will inspire local students to pursue dreams they may not have believed were achievable. We are letting students in our region know they can dream of big futures and we will provide them with the tools necessary to achieve those dreams. My hope is that this program will give students confidence in themselves and a desire to pursue their ambitions."
-- Ninfa Saunders, president and CEO
"We believe Education Together has potential for significant impact and answers a real financial need. Students are falling through the cracks because they can’t afford college. This isn’t a handout, it’s a hand-up and a noble opportunity to help capable students. Even if we only helped one student it would be rewarding enough, but Education Together is focused on sending many students to college or for technical training. Once people learn what Education Together is doing, they’ll want to participate and it will grow."
-- David Cyr, president
"To continue focusing on education and on growing the number of partners – and to keep that a priority in the business community, among the non-profits and in the community at large. Obviously, the more partners we have, the more we can do and the more successful we’ll be. And, clearly, some deserving students’ lives will be changed for the better and their opportunities broadened."
-- Karen Lambert, president
"Education Together can help keep a student in college so he or she can graduate. It can take the load off parents who are struggling to make ends meet. And Education Together can create valuable dialogue in the community about positive things our young people are doing to get ahead. It can also bring to light that while Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is a great resource, more money is needed to help students graduate."
-- Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager
"Education Together broadens educational opportunities for young people in Middle Georgia and shows students who want an education that money doesn’t have to be the deciding factor. The average student and parents are not aware of the many scholarship opportunities available, but given Education Together’s publicity and promotion, we can reach more students, expand the educational opportunities and increase the odds that the students will live and work here."
-- John Rhea, president and CEO
"We improve education through leadership, strategic vision, determination and cooperation with everyone coming together and taking responsibility. I hope these partners will be recognized as part of the solution to our educational challenges in Middle Georgia and this initiative will spawn other educational efforts. Who knows where Education Together will take us and how many local students will go to college as a result of this initiative?"
-- Spencer Strickland, regional president
"No one agency or entity can solve all of our problems. Working collectively, the Education Together partners can have an immediate, positive impact on the lives of graduating seniors. In addition to the opportunities Education Together can provide for students now, I look down the road. Middle and elementary school children may see this and realize that if they prepare themselves, they have the opportunity, regardless of their circumstance, to use education to craft a better life."
-- George McCanless, president
"Big picture, it’s everyone in Central Georgia having a college degree. Realistically, that may not happen, but if we add a few college graduates every year, that’s a great improvement. Going to college here will engender in those graduates a love and affinity for the community that will pay back those scholarships many times over. Wesleyan is participating in Education Together because it’s good for the community and we want our community to be better."
-- Ruth Knox, president