COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Muscogee County School District awarded ten economically disadvantaged fifth-grade honor students for their academic success with a scholarship ceremony at Richards Middle School Saturday morning.
This latest class of MCSD Columbus Scholars earned their share of a college scholarship, on average $7,500 per student, and gaining a student mentor through a joint effort with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley.
Ben Holden, Chairman, Columbus Scholars Project, says, "The scholars basically have all As, or A/B's. They meet or exceed all the standards in the Georgia Specialized Placement Test, and the children will get a share of those proceeds based upon need."
The project and school district also recognize these talented students face an economic disadvantage, which is why they want to offer any financial help in the early stages of their education.
"We actually were on the front page of the newspaper talking about the idea that in Columbus, perhaps only in Columbus, if you were smart, but didn't have any money, there would be a community effort between Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Community Foundation, and us to give you a chance to go to college," says Holden.
The class of 2017 joins 55 previously selected fifth-grade scholars now in county high schools and middle schools and moving closer to the goal of getting to college.
"It's a blessing because she just made me real proud," says Gabrielle Blanding, a Columbus Scholar parent.
All 10 students will also attend a monthly enrichment seminar to prepare them for life as they graduate and become productive professionals.
Takay'Sheunna Jordan, a Columbus Scholar of Fox Elementary School says she feels blessed and accomplished.