This year marks an increase in the number of scholarship essay contestants
The Mississippi Link Newswire
LEXINGTON, Miss. – Small town folks are always excited when one of their hometown boys grow up, do well, and return to give back to his community.
That was exactly the case for a packed audience of mostly Holmes Countians at the Community Students Learning Center’s (CSLC) Seventh Annual Scholarship Awards Banquet, held January 28 in the Holmes County Central High School gymnasium in Lexington. Holmes County native Gregory Johnson, program manager for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, who is also an attorney, returned as keynote speaker and supercharged the scholarship candidates and the audience to go after their goals with vigor.
“I need you to understand, young people, that in America, education provides the knowledge; politics provides the franchise; economic provides the capital; and that we have to mix those values with mutual and self-respect so that all of us can achieve that great American Dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Johnson said. Reflecting on the banquet’s theme, Education Empowers, Johnson stated, “You have to expose yourself to different things to acquire the many different experiential degrees of knowledge needed to make decisions to be successful in this life.”
This year, there were 11 contestants, as compared to nine last year. “This is why we are so excited about this year’s scholarship banquet,” commented CSLC Executive Director and Co-Founder Beulah Greer. “Our young people are not shying away from competition when it comes to an opportunity to do better. I am so proud of them. They are all winners just for trying in my opinion.”
Speaking of the winners, each of them were thrilled to learn they had placed in the scholarship’s essay competition. “I felt very enthusiastic after being informed that I had won first place.” said Shania Clay. “With this scholarship, I plan to cover some of my book expenses.”
Second place winner, Vanetta Brownlow, said she could not put into words how overjoyed she felt knowing she had won second place. “I am deeply honored and grateful,” she said. “Being a part of this competition meant a lot to me. It allowed me to compete against some of the most intelligent, driven seniors within my class. Thank you again, CSLC, for the recognition and generous scholarship.”
“It was very eye opening and enlightening to participate in this competition,” said third-place winner, JaLesia Garvis. “After the results were revealed, I was amazed because I was able to share this opportunity with many talented students.”
The audience shared many positive comments about the banquet. Johnson also expressed gratitude to the co-founder and president of the Board, Leslie Greer, for being his Cub Scout leader when he was a young boy. “I am proud to see some of the success of our work with the Holmes County Cub Scouts,” said Greer.
The CSLC founders presented Johnson a plaque and offered their appreciation to him and to everyone that participated. Special recognition was given to Silver Sponsors: Dr. Arena C. Mallory Community Health Center, Top Quality Computer Services; and Bronze Sponsors: Major Design Studio, K&T Construction, Academic Technologies, Porter and Sons Funeral Home, and Nine’s Enterprisers A.H.D., Inc. for their generous support in helping to make the scholarship and education services available for the students of Holmes County.
For more information about the Community Students Learning Center’s programs and services, call (662) 834-0905.
For more information about the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, log on to: https://www.wkkf.org/