Children’s Policy Council awards college scholarships

Published 7:16 pm Sunday, April 28, 2024

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The Lowndes County Children’s Policy Council met Wednesday, April 17 to judge applicants for the Sheriff John Williams Scholarship. The Council reviewed each applicant’s information and character references, selecting one recipient from each local high school and two former Lowndes County high schools students currently enrolled in college.

“I’m happy to say there were a number of applicants from each school,” said council chairman Judge Adrian Johnson. “That’s not always the case, so I’m very proud of that. This is one of the best days of the year for us on the Children’s Policy Council because we get to do our scholarship selection.”

Council members elected to award $2,000 scholarships to one student from each high school and discussed each candidate after reviewing their application, resume, references and testimony from school representatives. In previous years, the council awarded three high schoolers with scholarships, but because fundraising efforts provided enough for five this year, two recipients were selected from Central High School in Hayneville, which had nine student applicants, and two college scholarships for $1,000 each were awarded as well.

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JaTyus Axel, a senior at The Calhoun School, was chosen to receive a scholarship along with Albert Ashley, III from Lowndes Academy and Coleeta Pugh and Jaderian Bell from Central.

“We’ve got a lot of outstanding young people doing great things in Lowndes County,” Johnson said.

Former recipients that were chosen for this year were LaDarrian McCall and Damaria Johnson.

“We wanted to award scholarships to past recipients who are in college to help those students who are working toward their higher education goals,” Johnson said. “There are always students who we thought were outstanding, so this gives us an opportunity to help two applicants in college.”

Leon Bennett, president of the “Class of 76” Scholarship Committee, updated the council on current fundraising efforts, which include an annual golf tournament in Sheriff “Big John” Williams’s honor and booklet sales.

“The real money that we are able to donate in scholarships comes by sales of our booklet,” Bennett said. “We need to reboot the golf tournament. It’s kind of hard to get people to participate in the golf tournament. We just need to regroup and press forward.”

The council meets once a quarter in the Lowndes County Courtroom. The next meeting is set for June 5 at 3 p.m.