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JA opens up scholarship opportunities to local students

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Gerri Miller presents the Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven’s Will Valentine Memorial Scholarship to Peyton Clark of Brookhaven High School.

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Gerri Miller presents the Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven’s Will Valentine Memorial Scholarship to Peyton Clark of Brookhaven High School.

Every year the Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven serves the community by searching for qualified candidates to receive one graduate scholarship, awarded by the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. and several scholarships for local graduating high school seniors awarded from funds raised by the JA of Brookhaven chapter.

The Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven Scholarship Program has customarily awarded the Platinum Crown Scholarship ($1000) and the Gold Crown Scholarship ($750) to local worthy and needy seniors. In 2012, through the generous support of our patrons JA added the Silver Crown Scholarship in the amount of $750. In 2014, the addition of the Charter Scholarship ($750) commemorated their 60th Anniversary of service to our community.

Since 1995, the Will Valentine Memorial Scholarship ($750) has recognized an outstanding student who exemplifies the volunteer spirit of the Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven. The recipient’s purpose in life, dedication to volunteerism and contributions to the community through volunteer service are the sole bases of this award. The students must be nominated and may not apply themselves. This award reflects the core values of JA’s current and past members thus many support it financially on a yearly basis. Recent recipients include Patrick Valentine, Terah Winborne, Peyton Clark and Garret Smith.

To date, the Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven estimates a minimum of $100,000 has been invested in our local youth since the scholarship program’s inception. They currently grant some of the largest individual scholarships amounts available locally. In an effort to carry out their chapter’s motto “Care Today, Character Tomorrow” they have made some changes. They are

proudly announcing the Charter Scholarship, established in 2014, will now grant double the amount of the previous year. The amount will now be $1500. In addition, a new scholarship, the Diamond Crown Scholarship, will be awarded to a high school senior who is the first generation in his/her family to pursue a college degree. The amount of the Diamond Crown Scholarship will be $1000.

This year’s Scholarship Chair and Past President Glenda Hux said she believes the restructuring of their program allows the chapter to invest in the future of a diverse cross section of our community with various degrees of merit and financial need. Thus, reflecting the eagerness of each member to encourage local youth to attain their career goals for the betterment of our community.

“We are so thankful for the financial support we receive from our fundraiser patrons,” she said. “It’s the only reason lifelong dreams of sending a child to college will become a reality for one more local family this year.”

All scholarship application packets and nomination forms may be obtained from your local high school counselors after Jan. 9, 2015. Applications for high school scholarships must be postmarked by March 2, 2015. NO applications will be considered after the deadline.

Since 1962, the NAJA Scholarship Program has granted 526 scholarships totaling over $1,165,859 for graduate studies in fields which address the special needs of children and youth. Graduate fields of study include, but are not limited to: Counseling, Psychology, Mental Health, Special Education, Speech Pathology, Exceptional Children, Remedial Skills Development, Hearing Impaired, Gifted and Talented, etc. Scholarships are NOT awarded for graduate work in administration or general education. JA of Brookhaven would like to encourage anyone planning to enroll in full or part-time graduate studies in the aforementioned fields to review the required qualifications and apply by visiting www.najanet.org Graduate scholarship application deadline is Feb. 1.