Taylor Sines wants to open a music business. Whitney Poss wants to be a nurse. Whitney Shepherd wants to be a teacher. And Miles Todd wants to be a graphic artist.
Whitney Poss (from left), Lee Ramsey, Beth Register, Lauren Mathews, Carmen Benson, Taylor Sines, Whitney Shepherd, Miles Todd and Elizabeth Edwards, all seniors at Evans High School, each received a $1,000 scholarship from the school's Career/Technology Education Advisory Board at a ceremony Wednesday. Each student can use the scholarship money for postsecondary education in a technology or vocational field.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
"I plan to get my bachelor's (degree) in business management and study culinary arts in hopes of owning and operating my own bakery," Evans High School senior Elizabeth Edwards said.
Evans High's Career/Technology Education Advisory Board gave Edwards and eight other career/technology graduating seniors a hand up. Each received a $1,000 scholarship Wednesday at a ceremony in the Professional Foods dining area.
The $1,000 scholarships can be used for books or tuition at any postsecondary institution for technology fields including metals, welding, health or medicine, drafting, horticulture, agriculture and business education.
"Our vision as the Vocational Advisory Committee is to provide what we can for the students in the vocation education and technical education department here at Evans High School," said Gene Hair, a former teacher and advisory board chairman. "We know one thing, that everybody is going to work. We are trying to provide something for these people and for them to go to work."
The nine students and their parents heard inspirational words from guest speaker Terry Elam, the president of Augusta Technical College. He said postsecondary education is very important. In 1950, he said, 70 percent of Georgia jobs were available for unskilled people with no training past high school. Currently, only 15 percent of jobs in the state are fit for unskilled people.
"The bottom line is prosperity and growth depends on a skilled work force and an educated work force that uses both their brain power and skills," Elam said.
The scholarship funds are solicited by members of the Career/Technology Education Advisory Board, made up of active and retired businesspeople and current and retired teachers.
Some sponsoring businesses - such as Kelley Electrical Contractors, the Merchants Association of Columbia County and the Exchange Club of Columbia County - opted to present a scholarship personally.
Board member Mary Byrd, of Southern Beverage Packers, presented a scholarship award to Beth Register, whom she vividly remembered coming in for the required interview with board members.
"She had such a winning smile," Byrd said.
All students earning scholarships had to submit a written application with letters of recommendation from teachers before an intense interview with board members. Of 11 applicants, nine were chosen to receive scholarships, said Chris Segraves, Evans High's assistant principal, the supervisor of the Career/Technology education department and a board member.
Students weren't the only ones honored at the ceremony. Segraves presented a special award to longtime board President Jim Ball, who retired from the board this year to join the Greater Augusta Sports Council.
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