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Six finalists for Morgan scholarship named
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Six outstanding Rockdale County Public School students invested in community service have been named finalists for the Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families’ 2013 John K. Morgan Scholarship of up to $4,000.

This is the third year the Rockdale Coalition has offered the $4,000 scholarship for a student who has demonstrated outstanding community service in Rockdale County and plans to continue that level of commitment while pursuing post-secondary education. The scholarship is named for John K. Morgan, former president and chief executive officer of Acuity Brands Lighting and community advocate.

Finalists for the 2013 John K. Morgan Scholarship include: Anna Barnes (Heritage High School), Kendra Jenkins (Salem High School), William Kulp (Heritage High School), Kate McCalley (Heritage High School), Dominique Steele (Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology) and Shavontae Yoakum (Salem High School). Five finalists will receive a $500 scholarship and the $4,000 scholarship will go to one student selected based on interviews conducted by the John K. Morgan Scholarship Committee comprised of local business professionals and community service advocates.

“We were once again overwhelmed by the talent and commitment these students have shown throughout their careers by giving so much of their time and talents to help others in need,” said Director of Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families Michael Hutcheson.

Highlights of community service demonstrated by the six finalists include (in alphabetical order):

·     Anna Barnes volunteers with Special Olympics, raised over $25,000 for Rockdale Relay for Life and established her own community service organization, A Queen for a Claus, to help less fortunate families.

·     Kendra Jenkins volunteers as a tutor for the “Game Plan” program to help student athletes at Salem High School and assists with caring for horses at a local ranch.

·     William Kulp is active with outreach activities at First Baptist Church of Conyers, with feeding the homeless in Atlanta and volunteering as a coach at Rockdale Youth Soccer Association.

·     Kate McCalley volunteers her time with Hometown Animal Rescue and other fundraisers through the Heritage High School National Honors Society.

·     Dominique Steele serves as a volunteer nursery worker at Tabernacle Assemblies of God, a piano assistant at Love Divine Music Ministries and a student ambassador at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology.

·     Shavontae Yoakum is president of Salem High School’s Student Government Association and has coordinated canned food drives, a fundraiser for the family of Reba Glass, participated in neighborhood clean-ups through Rivers Alive and the Great American Cleanup.

The scholarship winner will be announced at the Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families Annual Awards Reception at the Rockdale Career Academy at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. The event is open to the public and tickets are available at the Rockdale Coalition office for $10. The event includes food, entertainment, a silent auction and recognition of the scholarship finalists.

The 2013 recipient of the F. William Hughey Community Service Award will be presented to Lillis Brown. This award is presented annually to a person who has demonstrated outstanding community service in Rockdale County. Lillis is the former Probate Judge of Rockdale County serving in this capacity since 1993. In addition to her remarkable service as the Rockdale County Probate Judge for nineteen years, she has been an active participant and volunteer in the community. A $500 cash donation will also be given to the local community service organization of the recipient’s choice.

The Rockdale Coalition for Children & Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to facilitate and support collaborative initiatives that promote the well-being of children and families in the Rockdale community. For more information or tickets to the Rockdale Coalition Annual Awards Reception, call 770-761-9244 or email Michael Hutcheson at