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Bar associations award scholarships to Newton students
Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. Judicial Center
The Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. Judicial Center - photo by Courtesy of Newton County

Students from Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties have been named recipients of some area bar associations’ Horace J. Johnson Jr. Beyond the Bar Scholarship.

The Beyond the Bar Foundation awarded the $1,000 scholarships. 

Recipients from or near Newton County included:

• Chad Helton, who is graduating with honors from Social Circle High School and will be attending Georgia College and State University in the fall. 

• Zoe Mayo, a top 10 graduate of Newton High School, who plans on attending Spelman College.

• Natalia Sanchez, who is Alcovy High School’s 2021 Salutatorian and will further her education at the University of Georgia. 

Others include Terrell Wright of Walnut Grove High School in Walton County who will continue his education at Mercer University; Gabrielle Wood, the 2021 Valedictorian of the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology who will attend Howard University; and James Rhee, an honor graduate of Heritage High School in Rockdale who will attend Boston University.

The Beyond the Bar Foundation is a collaborative effort between the New Rock Legal Society, Newton County Bar Association, Rockdale County Bar Association and Walton County Bar Association to help students further their education at an accredited college or technical school.

“We had an increased number of stellar applications this year and we were impressed with the level of excellence in the students competing for the scholarship,” said Newton County Superior Court Judge Cheveda McCamy, the foundation’s president.

The four bar associations formed the foundation in 2019 as a way for local attorneys to give back to youth in Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties. The scholarship was renamed in honor of Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. who died in July 2020.  

Johnson served as Superior Court judge in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit from 2002 until his death. He was a champion of community service, specifically helping local youth, a news release stated.

“These students have outstanding academics and extracurricular activities,” McCamy said. “We had a committee of five veteran lawyers who reviewed the applications and we were blown away by these students’ essays and commitment to public service.”

To learn more information about the scholarship or receive an application for next year, contact