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Foundation provides opportunity through scholarships

Over the years, the Walker College Foundation has provided a multitude of scholarships for students to attend Bevill State Community College, and the number of scholarships awarded continues to grow. This year, the foundation awarded $200,000 in scholarships for both incoming freshman and returning students, and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the foundation relies on monetary donations to help provide assistance to students who may not receive it otherwise.

Justice Evans, a graduate of Cordova High School, is one of the foundation’s scholarship recipients for 2015. His mother, Leigh Evans, said the assistance has been “an absolute blessing.”

“He wound up falling in between the majors that are offered at Bevill, because he wants to major in industrial design. Well, that’s at Auburn. Academically, Bevill offers that as a career tech program but not a college prep program,” Evans said. “The foundation, seeing what an excellent student he was and the fact that he was on the cutting edge of the newest offerings for degrees out there, wanted to honor his efforts and his work.”

Justice received a full foundation scholarship, financing everything but textbook costs. Once he finishes his core classes at the college, he will transfer to Auburn.

Leigh Evans said Holly Trawick, the executive director of the Walker College Foundation, offered the scholarship to her son after examining many factors, including Justice’s active involvement in school activities and his high GPA.

“There were plenty of tears, lots of jumping up and down,” Evans said with a laugh, reflecting on when she learned of the scholarship award. “We felt as though someone saw his worth.”

Tammy Burton, the mother of Trenton Burton and Tiffany Burton Stewart, says both of her children were fortunate to receive scholarships from the Walker College Foundation. Her daughter is now a teacher at Curry High School, and she earned an associate’s degree in art from Bevill State. She has gone on to continue her education and will soon earn a masters degree in mathematics, secondary education, from the University of West Alabama.

“She is grateful for the opportunity that Bevill State provided her through the Walker College Foundation Scholarship and attributes it greatly to her collegiate success,” Burton said.

Her son, Trenton, is a recent graduate of Curry High School and aspires to earn a degree in engineering.

“As parents, we feel this scholarship is very beneficial not only to the recipient, but beneficial to the community, as well, and we appreciate very much the donations which make this scholarship possible and the investment it makes in our young people and our community,” Tammy Burton said.

Robbin Reed Allen, a donor to the Walker College Foundation, says the program in crucial for helping students in the community further their education.

“The Walker College Foundation, through their scholarship program, provides education and certification opportunities to students of all ages where, otherwise, opportunities to attend college might not exist,” Allen said. “We are fortunate to have a community college of Bevill State’s caliber in our county.

Evans reiterated that students must be dedicated to learning what opportunities are out there to help finance their education and be resilient in their search for aid to attend college.

“I would just like for students to realize that scholarships won’t find you. You have to go find them, and when you put in the work and you put in the time and you make a commitment to your education, there are people out there who will honor that commitment, and they will help you to further your education. The Walker College Foundation is proof of that,” Evans said.

To donate to the Walker College Foundation, visit www.walkercollegefdn.org.

Reprinted from The Daily Mountain Eagle on July 10, 2015. Written by Nicole Smith.


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