Education

Shout out to Macon-Bibb students doing well: Griffith scholar and a positive athlete

Aaryanna Mercer, a senior at Howard High School, will be attending Mercer in the fall as the 2019 Griffith Scholar.
Aaryanna Mercer, a senior at Howard High School, will be attending Mercer in the fall as the 2019 Griffith Scholar. Special to The Telegraph

Every year a Bibb County student is selected to become a Griffith Scholar, which offers free tuition to Mercer University.

Aaryanna Mercer, a senior at Howard High School, will be attending Mercer in the fall as the 2019 Griffith Scholar.

“She’s been very successful in her academics,” said Kelly Holloway, the assistant vice president for enrollment management at Mercer. “One of the things that we found very interesting about her is that she is an aspiring entrepreneur which Mr. Griffith of course is an entrepreneur himself as well as many others within his family.”

Aaryanna Mercer, daughter of Jesse and Clarissa Mercer, plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is the founder and CEO of a custom T-shirt company, Unorthodox Spot, according to a news release.

The scholarship program is funded by Benjamin W. “Benjy” Griffith III and the Griffith Family Foundation, according to the release. Holloway said Griffith and his wife attended Mercer University.

“They wanted to have the opportunity to invest in local students and provide them a opportunity for a Mercer education.” she said.

Students who have been accepted into the university and have financial need can write an essay to apply for the scholarship, Holloway said.

“What we’re looking for in the essay is demonstrated leadership, scholarship and service,” she said.

She said around 20 to 30 students apply every year, and this year Aaryanna Mercer had everything they were looking for.

“She has a gift and a talent to take her ideas and to start a business and to do a good bit of community service as well,” Holloway said. “So she had very strong academics. She had leadership in starting her own business, and she was also very involved with community service as well.”

Most Positive Adapted Sports Athlete

Houston County High School senior Jordan Kozloski has been named Georgia’s Most Positive Adapted Sports Athlete, and Hines Ward, a former wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Georgia Bulldogs, will recognize each honoree at the 2018-19 Georgia Positive Athlete awards on June 4 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, according to a news release.

Kozloski has been a member of the Houston County Sharks since the second grade, and she has played wheelchair basketball, football and handball, according to the release.

Kozloski also participated in the school district’s video series called, “13 Reasons Why Not,” in her video called “The way I look does not define me.”

“I wanted people to look at me and say, ‘Hey, because of her, I didn’t give up,’” Kozloski said in the video.

The class of 2019 at Morehouse College received a commencement speech to remember on May 19 when billionaire Robert F. Smith announced his family would be making a grant to pay off the student debt for the graduating class.

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