Thursday, May 29, 2008

12 Area Students Awarded Scholarships by the Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia

Twelve high school and college students were awarded scholarships from the Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia in an awards banquet recently held at Fayetteville First Baptist Church.

Vice President of Bank of America and Former NFL and University of Georgia football player, Eric Zeier gave a motivational speech to the assembled students, parents and building professionals. In a theme titled “Turning the Pages to the Next Chapters of Life”, Eric gave the students three key areas to work on as they move into the future; Be willing to get out of your comfort zone, Don’t let challenges become excuses and Be passionate about what you do.

Six of the twelve students received the Jerry Ballard Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to students in post-secondary education who are taking courses in a building industry related fields. Given in memory of past HBA president, Jerry Ballard who died in 2005, the recipients included three students attending Griffin Tech, John H. Battle, Jr., Brandon Bennett and Eddie James Pope. The three other recipients were Joseph Babb who attends Shorter College, Errin Barnett who has been participating in the CEC Pre-Engineering and Engineering Drawing classes and Austin McKinney currently attending Auburn University.

“I plan on starting my own HVAC company back home in Henry County,” said Brandon Bennett who is enrolled in the Air Conditioning Technology program at Griffin Tech “This scholarship money will buy the tools that I will need to get started.”

Six high school seniors also received scholarships from the HBA of Midwest Georgia including two from Coweta County, three from Fayette County and one from Pike County. Recipient Brittany Koranda is graduating from East Coweta High School and plans on attending West Georgia University studying Business Administration. Kres Betsill is graduating from Northgate High School and also plans on attending West Georgia University studying Sound Design. John Hamilton Cox III will graduate from McIntosh High School attending Louisiana State University with a major in History. Kaitlin Wilson is graduating from Starr’s Mill High School and plans on majoring in Psychology. Brittany Enterkin is graduating from Whitewater High School and plans on attending Berry College. Matthew Crawford will graduate from Pike County High School and will study Physical Therapy.

The HBA of Midwest Georgia scholarship program began in 1984. In an effort to give back to the community, the original program awarded scholarships to local graduating high school seniors. Since then, 235 scholarships totaling $294,160 have been awarded. That total includes nine scholarships given in memory of past president Jerry Ballard. In addition, $660 was awarded in 2007 to two high school seniors at Heard County High School to take summer school classes allowing them to graduate that year.

The Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties. For information about the association, call Executive Officer Sandy Boda at 770-716-7109.

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