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The SunTrust Foundation announced its 2019 Lighting the Way Awards Aug. 23, and a Macon organization received one of the awards which comes with a $75,000 grant.
NewTown Macon received an award in the small business/entrepreneurship category for their Entrepreneur’s Academy, said Bethany Rogers, director of business and real estate development at NewTown Macon.
“We’re excited. We were with a pretty distinguished group of organizations doing really great things to create positive impact in their communities,” she said. “It was just really an honor to be part of that group and be recognized by the SunTrust team and to also just know that the work that we’re doing that we’re on the right path.”
NewTown Macon was one of 36 nonprofit organizations across the South and the Midwest to receive an award, and the SunTrust Foundation awarded a total of $2.7 million in grants this year, according to a news release.
“Every one of these nonprofits has created impactful programs to support specific needs of their communities, and it is a privilege to recognize their efforts,” said Stan Little, president of the foundation. “The Lighting the Way Awards illustrate our commitment to ‘Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being’ in partnership with organizations that make a difference in the lives of those who need help the most.”
Rogers said the money NewTown received from the grant will go into its small business loan fund. The Entrepreneur’s Academy teaches the fundamentals of creating a business as well as entrepreneurial leadership development, Rogers said.
“We really believe by the time this program is over they’re gonna be equipped with the tools and practices to be extremely successful but also have a new community of entrepreneurs and colleagues that they can lean in on,” she said. “It’s about being able to sustain in the long term.”
Fast growing college
Georgia Military College was ranked by the Chronicle for Higher Education as the 18th Fastest Growing Associate and Baccalaureate/Associate College in the Nation from 2007 to 2017, according to a news release.
The ranking would also make GMC the fastest growing public institution in the state of Georgia, according to the release.
“We’ve seen a growth in this institution because there is a need and a desire for quality post-secondary education that (is) character-based and affordable,” Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, president of the college, said in the release. “Our goal is to provide hope and opportunity for students across Georgia to receive an education that will change their lives.”
A Mercer University sophomore received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Thailand this fall, according to a news release.
Alexus Evans, a double-major in mathematics and computer science, was selected by the U.S. State Department to receive the scholarship that provides students up to $5,000 to study abroad, according to the release.
“I am extremely grateful for receiving the Gilman Scholarship,” Evans said, in the release. “Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to afford this opportunity.”
Mercer was recognized in March as a Gilman Greatest Growth Institution and had a total of 15 Gilman Scholars selected during the academic year of 2018-2019, according to the release.
“Alexus will have the transformative opportunity to spend an entire semester in Thailand, learning the language, experiencing the culture and building lifelong relationships,” said David Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English at Mercer, in the release. “We are thrilling that she will have this experience, and we encourage all eligible students to pursue international learning programs. This is one of the ways that Mercer students change the world.”