CHIPLEY — The Washington County Scholarship Foundation awarded eight middle school students contracts for 4-year college scholarships Tuesday night at Patillo's on the Washington-Holmes Technical Center campus.
Take Stock In Children, a 120 credit hour college tuition scholarship program, announced its eight new recipients in grades 8 and 9 at the annual presentation dinner on Nov. 13.
Since inception in Washington County in 2005, the local TSIC program has graduated 47 students from high school and 39 (including the 2012 high school graduates) are currently enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year college program or a certification program at technical centers. Three students are either in the 1-year deferral, or military deferral. For school year 2012-13, there are 29 students in grades 9-12 working towards high school graduation and receipt of the actual scholarship.
The number of scholarship contracts to be awarded varies from year-to-year based upon the donations from Washington County businesses and individuals, as well as money in the state matching account. Since starting in 2005, the local TSIC has raised about $400,000, which excludes the state-level match, and the total value of scholarships is estimated at $775,000. The program has averaged about 10 high school graduates between Vernon and Chipley high schools each year that receive the 120 credit hour tuition scholarship.
This year's recipients include five students from Vernon Middle School — Dana Douglas, Faith Harmon, Madisen Hawes, Carlos Hillman and Jessica Joyce; and three students from Roulhac Middle School in Chipley — Kaylee Jeffries, Richard Latham and Jacob Whitehead.
Guest speaker at the event was Vernon 8th-grader Marquez Brown. Brown was honored by the Senate of Florida in September for having the highest Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test score in the state of Florida and he plans to be a doctor one day. He was introduced by his uncle, school board member-elect Milton Brown.