The Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families announced the winner of the John K. Morgan scholarship and honored the five community-service oriented finalists and also named the winner of the F. William Hughey Award during Saturday evening's banquet at Rockdale Career Academy.
Mary Anna Roden was named the winner of the second annual John K. Morgan scholarship, which gives $1,000 a year toward any school up to three years, as long as community service activity is maintained. The Salem High School senior, who is the daughter of Billie and Robert Roden, is headed to University of Georgia with an interest in studying physical therapy. Some of her community service activities include activities at the Magnolias Assisted Living facility, Interact, and the Legacy Ministry Girls' Camp.
The other four finalists, who received a one-time amount of $500 for the school of their choice, were:
Christabelle Cheng, a Salem senior and daughter of Joshua and Priscilla Cheng. She is headed to University of West Georgia. Her service activities include Students Against Destructive Decisions, American Red Cross blood drive, and Faith Revival Food Ministries.
Khalin Johnson, a Heritage senior and daughter of Diane Thorpe. She is headed to Valdosta State University to study nursing. Her service activities include Meals on Wheels, the Rotary Empty Stocking Fund event, and the Women's Shelter of Atlanta.
Zilehuma Sandhu, a Salem senior and daughter of Mahmood and Anbaz Sandhu. She is headed to Emory University where she hopes to study pre-law. Her service activities include the Beta Club, Hands on Atlanta, and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
Vikita Valle, a Salem senior and daughter of Victor and Darlene Valle. She is headed to University of West Georgia or Augusta State University where she hopes to study pre-law. Her service activities include Beta Club, Delta Gems, Rockdale Coalition's Hope for the Holidays event, Apple Project (TAP), and PILOT program.
For his outstanding and life-long community service Ron Simpson was named the winner of the Bill Hughey Award, presented by Claire Cline.
Scholarship namesake and creator John Morgan said during the ceremony, "It's education that'll make all the difference in our young people's lives."
Presenter Susan Bryceland of Viewpoint Health, reiteriated the importance of community service. "The strength of the community is based on participation."
The evening also included a silent auction to help raise funds to grow the scholarship.