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STLS awards $21K in scholarships

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

By Cindy Raybern, Special to The Times

Scholarship, a sum of money or other aid granted to a student, because of merit, need, etc., to pursue his or her studies.  Foundation, the act of founding, setting up, establishing, an endowment or legacy for the perpetual support of an institution such as a school.  So, put the two together and you have the Southern Tennessee Ladies’ Society. 

The Scholarship Foundation awarded seven $3,000 scholarships to local seniors in Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Lincoln and Moore counties at the April meeting. 

Iris Rudder, president of the Scholarship Foundation, stated “this is like Christmas morning when you were a kid and you were so excited with the packages under the tree, and I am excited to present these scholarships. The ladies that serve on this committee with me are equally excited because they put a lot of themselves in this selection process.” 

STLS Scholarship Recipients

From left are Trevor Denney, Tullahoma High School; Tabatha Beverly, Lincoln County High School; Miranda Givens, Grundy County High School; Ceresia Ridner, Coffee County High School; Kaylee Gardner, Huntland High School; Juliann Taylor, Franklin County High School; and JP Evans, Moore County High School.

Before the presentation of scholarships, the committee went back to the very first scholarship recipients and updated the members on their progress.  One has graduated and is pursuing a master’s degree in psychology, one is headed to South Africa for field study and will attend graduate school to pursue a master’s in animal nutrition and a few have changed majors. The students were grateful that we took the time to check on their success.

 Among the 2013 scholarship recipients, several of them wish to pursue a career in the medical field and three will pursue careers in nursing. Ceresia Ridner of Coffee County High School will be attending the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, majoring in psychology. Her goals and aspirations include earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in special education. Her dream is to create a place where autistic children can receive behavioral therapy in an environment which offers much needed stimuli.  Juliann Taylor of Franklin County High School will attend Tennessee Tech to achieve a doctorate degree as an RN. Her goal is to help people suffering from mental illness. She has been involved with suicide prevention by volunteering with the Out of Darkness Community Walk and Contact Lifeline.

Miranda Givens, a student at Grundy County High School, will attend Middle Tennessee State University to pursue a degree in nursing. She has earned her CNA certification and is currently working at a local nursing home.  Kaylee Gardner of Huntland High School will attend UTC and pursue a doctorate in physical therapy, while Tabatha Beverly, a student at Lincoln County High School, will attend the University of Alabama Huntsville to pursue a degree in nursing.  Tabatha is well on her way as a certified first responder and a certified nursing assistant. 

Moore County student JP Evans will attend Tennessee Tech to pursue a degree in engineering, while Trevor Denney from Tullahoma High School is attending UTC to pursue a degree in business administration. Trevor lives by the quote, “the only things you can’t do in life are the things you can’t think of.”

 Dr. Rebecca Sharber, director of Franklin County Schools, completed the program. 

“A word that describes your accomplishments, recipients and members, and applies to all of us is Success.  The first ‘S’ represents scholarly, that you learn skills and information you will need to pursue your goals. The ‘U’ represents unshakeable; you have set goals and have been unshakeable in doing all you need to do to achieve those goals and one is applying for this scholarship. The first ‘C’ in success represents consistent.  It is not always easy to continue everything you need to do to complete your goals.  The second ‘C’ in success represents committed; reaching a goal requires commitment and pursuing your goal when the circumstances become difficult. 

“The ‘E’ represents exemplary; each of you have such a high quality that should be imitated by others. The next ‘S’ represents surrounded; you have surrounded yourself with positive people with so much negativity in the world.  The last ‘S’ represents sustained; you sustained the choices needed to fulfill your dreams. When you add these qualities together, you have success.”

In closing, Dr. Sharber said, “I thank you ladies for helping our young people, and students work hard as you enter college. It’s way more important to do really, really well your freshman and sophomore year. It is the average of GPAs, and you will continue your success.”