Lauren Ballenger

Recent Winder-Barrow High School graduate Lauren Ballenger has won a college scholarship from Georgia-Pacific that will be put toward her upcoming studies at Georgia College and State University. 

Lauren Ballenger, a recent graduate of Winder-Barrow High School, has been selected as a recipient of a Georgia-Pacific Foundation Employees’ Children Scholarship. 

Ballenger is the daughter of Kristen and Jason Burchfield and Earl Ballenger, who works at Georgia-Pacific’s Albany Corrugated facility. At Winder-Barrow, Ballenger was a member of the National Honor Society, National Beta Club and the Spanish Honor Society. She was named 2020 Miss Winder-Barrow High School. This fall, she will attend Georgia College & State University with plans to study Environmental Science.

Georgia-Pacific awards 50 scholarships each year to the children of employees across the country, according to a news release. The scholarship awards $2,000 per year for up to four years of full-time college undergraduate study or until baccalaureate degree requirements are completed, whichever occurs first, for a total maximum award of up to $8,000. 

“Now more than ever, the children of our employees are looking to their parents for guidance and stability during a difficult time,” said Curtis Abram, plant manager at Albany Corrugated. “We hope the scholarships these students have earned help to ease the transition to the next phase of their lives.”

“The COVID-19 shutdown has cost these young people a huge part of their educational experience,” added Curley M. Dossman Jr., president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation. “It is vital that we continue to support their academic success and remind them that their futures remain bright.”

Since the scholarship program began in 1988, Georgia-Pacific has awarded nearly 1,600 scholarships totaling nearly $13 million, according to the release. The program is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and is open to children of all active, full-time, U.S.-based employees of Georgia-Pacific. About 300 applications were received this year.

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