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Albany Rotary Club gives scholarships to high school seniors

Seven high school students get funding from Albany civic club

Darien Shannon, a student at Monroe High School, stands before the Albany Rotary Club on Thursday with John Dixon, chair of the club’s scholarship committee. Shannon is one of seven local high school students to receive scholarships from he club this year. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

Darien Shannon, a student at Monroe High School, stands before the Albany Rotary Club on Thursday with John Dixon, chair of the club’s scholarship committee. Shannon is one of seven local high school students to receive scholarships from he club this year. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

ALBANY — Seven Albany high school seniors have received scholarships from the Albany Rotary Club.

Six of those students were at the club’s meeting on Thursday to receive acknowledgement before family members, school counselors and headmasters. Each has some level of community or extra-curricular involvement, and one of them is a caregiver to her grandmother. They each represent the top 10 percent of their class.

This year, the recipients are Joseph McLendon from Deerfield-Windsor School, Rachel Clenny from Westover High School, Kiersten Jones from Albany High School, Darien Shannon from Monroe High School, Emily Thompson from Sherwood Christian Academy, Chantoria McCray from Dougherty County High School and Jayda Robinson from Albany High.

There is usually one recipient from each school, but there were two this year from Albany High due the committee’s inability to choose between Jones and Robinson. McCray was unable to attend the meeting Thursday.

The club’s scholarship committee considers grades, SAT scores and extra-curricular activities. Applicants are required to write an essay, and those who get the scholarships receive $1,200. Applications are sent to principals, who in turn give them to counselors to provide to the students.

“(The amount of money) doesn’t go as far as it used to, but they (the students) deserve to be recognized,” said John Dixon, chair of the club’s scholarship committee. “This is the first time I’ve been the chair of this, and it is amazing (what kind of applications we have seen) … making the choice, it all came down to the essay.”

The project is considered to be one of the major ones in which the club is involved.

“It is important for the children to continue their academic career,” said Bob Fletcher, the club’s president. “The next four or five years is the best of their lives. The Rotary Club is very happy to do it.”

Club members were able to provide information on where the students have chosen to attend college. McLendon is attending the University of North Georgia, Clenny is going to the Georgia Institute of Technology, Jones is attending Georgia State University, Shannon is attending Kennesaw State University, Thompson is going to Mercer University, McCray is going to Georgia Southern University and Robinson is attending Penn State University.