Forty students at South Atlanta High School will each receive a $2,500 college scholarship at a ceremony Thursday morning funded by 1-800-TruckWreck and the Witherite Law Group. In addition, 70 students will renew their scholarships resulting in $275,000 in financial aid for South Atlanta High graduates.
“If you’re going to invest in kids and give them every opportunity to succeed, then they have to continue to have access to funds to pay the tuition, the room and board, the books, or the technical supplies, computers and printers, whatever they may need to be successful,” said owner and partner Amy Witherite.
Witherite began the scholarship program in 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas where her original law office is located. The firm gave out five scholarships that year. After her Atlanta office opened a few years later, she sought out a school where students could benefit from college aid, but may not have corporate or alumni sponsors. She selected South Atlanta High. Forty is the largest number of scholarships the law group has issued at one time, Witherite said. She allocates the money herself.
Witherite said several scholarship recipients have received other forms of financial aid. The $2,500 awards can help them pay for tuition, room and board, books or other costs of post-secondary school.
“I come from a single-parent household ... It was a blessing for me,” said recipient Jacey Turner, who is headed to Savannah State University.
Students had to apply for the money and go through an interview process.
“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” said Jaden Favors, who also received the scholarship. He will attend Georgia State University to study economics.
Students will receive $2,500 for their first year of college and can renew the scholarship each year they are in school.
“Whether they go to a vocational school, a two-year school, a four-year college, we have some kids that have gone on to get their master’s (degrees), as long as they process the one-page renewal sheet, they will get another $2,500 the next year,” Witherite says.
In addition to the scholarships, Walmart chips in by giving the students gift cards to buy things they may need for college.
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