Over 170 applicants vied for $159,000, with 33 being selected for the full scholarship of $4,000. The Trust board also awarded 27 runner-up scholarships of $1,000 each.
In determining the winners, the scholarship committee looked for dedication to community, a strong work ethic, extracurricular involvement and triumph over obstacles and hardships. Recommendations from teachers and other adults involved in the students’ lives were also considered.
Walton EMC is able to award these scholarships because of unclaimed refunds. After efforts are exhausted to find the rightful owners, the money goes into an endowment provided for by Georgia law. Earnings from the endowment fund the yearly awards.
Since its inception, Walton Electric Trust has awarded 250 scholarships worth $621,750.
This year’s full scholarship winners include Seid Gibanica, Eric Hays, Hannah Lambert, Danielle Mussatt, Alexander Sullivan (Parkview High); Sara Davis, Jazmyne Simon (South Gwinnett High); Drew Cushwa, Jessica Evans, Saritha Mangones, Allison Myers, William Walker, Brittany Wesner (Brookwood High); Ligia-Ioana Raileanu (Archer High); Hannah Cheek (Shiloh High); Markell Jackson (Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology); Joseph Long, Genesis Oji, Jordan Woody (Loganville High); Tyler Browning (Loganville Christian Academy); Nicholas Cain, Ali Miller, Brittany Potts, Christopher Slaton (Walnut Grove High); Lee Briney Jr., Whitney Lester (Salem High); Lindsey Borchers (Heritage High); Katie Windham (Paragon Academy); Audrey Hardison, Halie Sorrow (George Walton Academy); Victoria Turner (Monroe Area High); Kylie Bush, Lydia Sloan (North Oconee High); Laura Tomlin, Haley Wingo (Westminster Christian Academy); Charles Faust, Daniel Faust (Athens Christian); Olivia Ricketts (Prince Avenue Christian); Kathryn Jones (Madison County High); Celie Davis (Morgan County High); Jayce Delker (Georgia Cyber Academy).
In addition, Sarah Kang of Brookwood High and Claire Rohrer of South Gwinnett High are both receiving one of eight $1,000 Walter Harrison Scholarships from Georgia EMC, Walton EMC’s statewide trade association.
The scholarship, named in honor of a Georgia and national cooperative electrification pioneer, is endowed by the efforts of electric cooperatives from across the state and Georgia Rural Electric Supply Corporation. Since 1985, $162,000 has been awarded through the program.
Community involvement, academic ability, SAT scores, scholastic honors and financial need are considerations in choosing Walter Harrison Scholarship recipients.
Walton EMC is an electric cooperative that serves 121,000 accounts over its 10-county service area between Atlanta and Athens. Because its customers own the company, service — not profit — is Walton EMC’s primary focus.