• 36°

Scholarships awarded to Lawrence County students

The hard work of some area students has paid off, literally.

The Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce awarded $500 scholarships to nine students this month. One student was chosen from each of the county’s high schools and Collins Career Center on the basis of academic achievement, community service and financial need.

“We gave the criteria we were interested in to all the high schools and Collins Career Center and asked them to choose the students based on that criteria,” said Bob Smith, director of the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce.

The following students were selected: Ashley Jenkins of Chesapeake High School, Bobbie Akers of Dawson-Bryant High School, Katelyn Turley of Fairland High School, Kylie Summers of Ironton High School, Anthony Whaley of St. Joe High School, Kelsey Huddle of Rock Hill High School, Alyssa Adkins of South Point High School, Ashley Bryant of Symmes Valley High School and Chelsea Mentz of Collins Career Center.

Smith said the scholarship program is new with the money raised from the first annual Spotlight Dinner Auction in May 2009, where NFL quarterback Chad Pennington was the keynote speaker.

The chamber donated $2500 from the event to Pennington’s 1st & 10 Foundation, in addition to setting the money aside for scholarships.

“The Chamber of Commerce has long been interested in partnering with education because we feel they go hand in hand,” Smith said.

“When a student graduates from high school, the first thing they’re going to be doing is looking for a job,” Smith said. “We try to have a good, ongoing relationship and feel it’s important to give students a jump-start on expenses as they go to school.”

Kim Day, guidance counselor at Chesapeake High School, agreed with the importance of scholarships and the help that money can provide to the students and their families.

Day advised students to do some searching on their own in addition to the support the schools provide.

“Go online and seek out scholarships we aren’t notified about,” Day said. “There are millions of dollars not given out because they’re not applied for.”

Smith said the chamber is hoping to have another Spotlight Dinner Auction this year and is aiming for September, but plans are not definite.