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Utility offering three college scholarships

POSTED: December 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Jackson Electric Membership Corp. wants to do more than help light up a darkened home. The organization also wants to help illuminate the path to higher education for area students.

The company is currently encouraging high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students to apply for one of its three scholarships, each of which is worth $1,000.

Two of the scholarships are named after A.T. Sharpton, the former chairman of the Jackson EMC board of directors.

"He served on our board for 26 years and accomplished a great many things during his life, but one of the things he wanted most, he never received, and that was a college education," said Kay Parks, Jackson EMC community relations representative.

"He dreamed of attending college, but due to financial and family circumstances, he instead had to work to support his seven brothers and sisters. Although he never got to college, he loved to study and learn and encouraged young people to pursue their academic dreams."

According to Parks, the scholarship was established by Sharpton’s family and friends to honor his memory.

The other award, the Walter Harrison Scholarship, was named after one of the first chairmen of the Georgia EMC first district.

"Walter Harrison was one of Georgia’s rural electric pioneers — a legislator, civic leader, banker, historian and humanitarian," Parks said. "He served for 31 years on the board of directors of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and was inducted into the National Cooperative Hall of Fame in 1985, shortly before his death."

In order to be eligible for the scholarships, applicants must either be a Jackson EMC customer or the child of a customer. They must also live in a home that is served by Jackson EMC.

The Walter Harrison Scholarship and the A.T. Sharpton Unrestricted Scholarship are available to students who have been accepted to or are attending any accredited college, university or technical school.

The A.T. Sharpton-Gainesville State College Scholarship is only available to those students who plan to attend the local school.

The deadline to apply for the scholarships is Jan. 28, with winners being notified by April 10.


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