Helping provide financial assistance through scholarships is one of the many highlights of the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., which is headquartered in Thomson. More than 700 students from across Georgia and South Carolina were recipients of such scholarships during a gala celebration held on the historic grounds of the Watson-Brown Foundation in Thomson this past Saturday.
"This year's class was the largest we've ever had," said Tad Brown, president of the Watson-Brown Foundation.
Scholarships of more than $2.2 million were awarded to students - several of whom live in McDuffie and Warren counties. In McDuffie County, a total of 17 students received scholarships, while seven students from Warren County received valuable financial assistance made possible through the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc.
"We are delighted to be a part of these students' lives and wish them every success as they embark on their college careers," said Mr. Brown.
Students selected to receive the scholarships are primarily from the Central Savannah River Area, which includes counties in Georgia and South Carolina.
Scholarships are based on merit and need by students, Mr. Brown said. The $3,000 scholarships are awarded annually and can be renewed for the four years that students attend four-year accredited colleges and universities across the United States, he added. Assuming students do well in their classes, the scholarships could actually come to a tally of $12,000.
One of those local students was Courtney Timmerman, 18, a recent graduate of Thomson High School.
"I'm very proud to have received one of the scholarships from the Watson-Brown Foundation," said Miss Timmerman, daughter of the Rev. Michael and Mrs. Karen Timmerman of Dearing. "This is very, very rewarding."
Miss Timmerman, who played on the girls' soccer team, played the flute in the concert band, excelled academically, finishing her prep career as an A/B student. She plans to attend Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville to major in business administration in hopes of opening and owning her own photography studio someday.
Theodore McNeal, 18, of Augusta is another recipient of one of the scholarships this year.
"This is a real big honor to receive a scholarship to go to school and further my education," said Mr. McNeal, son of Theodore and Deborah McNeal, of Augusta. "I'm very anxious to get started."
Carmen D. Anderson, Brittany E. Barnhill, Sarah R. Bass, Jerrica J. Bell, Lindsey T. Burch, Janette L. Gordy, Takiya Grant, Mary A. Harden, Steve Holbert, Kalyn Kitchings, Jordan M. Lewis, Kathryn H. May, Ashley N. Mims, Benjamin A. Rushing, Elizabeth J. Thigpen, Courtney Timmerman, Amber Usry, Christine Usry and Seth Williford
La'Porsha Franklin, Albert R. Hudson, Ashley Moyer, Ashley Warren
Cassie Pickrell, John Spivey and James C. Wilburn