Jackson County Community Outreach (JCCO) hosted its 2021 community service awards reception at Jackson EMC on Saturday, Jan. 8.

JCCO seeks to improve the relationships between the community, school system and businesses in the area as Jackson County continues to see an increase in economic growth. The non-profit organization helps to improve the employment skills of youth and young adults, champion life skill projects and enhance the pride and enthusiasm for educational improvements in the county. Its vision is to promote education to its youth and improve the economic growth and standard of living in the county by giving scholarships to high school seniors.

“We want to ensure that the workforce graduating from our schools will meet the needs of the jobs coming to Jackson County, both presently and in the future,” says James H. Scott Jr., JCCO president.

Each year through an application and interview process in early spring the organization searches for students to award its scholarships.

This year a total of $21,000 worth of scholarships were split among 16 students from four high schools.

This year’s award recipients include: Daisy Villalpando, East Jackson Comprehensive High School, who received the James H. Scott Visionary Scholarship of $2,500.

Traditional college scholarships of $1,000 were given to: Makayla Dover, Jackson County High School; Moriah Dover, JCHS; Madison Ellis, JCHS; Shawn Cunningham, Commerce High School; Angel Hart, CHS; Shaniya Smith CHS; Sara Free, Jefferson High School; Deleah Walker, JHS; Jackson Fuller, EJCHS; Amaya Howard, EJCHS and Gini Pena, EJCHS.

Technical College Industrial Scholarships with a value of $2,000 each were awarded to: Eddtrick Harper, CHS; Nathalie Marcelo, CHS and Rylee Minish, EJCHS.

Mallory Ware, JHS, received the Tom Lewis Leadership Scholarship worth $1,500.

This year’s interns include: Annika Sorrow, publicity intern; Nelly Hokstam, scholarship intern, and Raina Ross, operations intern.

Several community officials were also recognized for their continued support and involvement in the community. Awards were given to: Jeff Grant, iServe Ministries, presented the Humanitarian Award in recognition of outstanding community and public service; Gina Roy, assistant county manager, presented the Community Leadership Award for excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding community involvement; and Brenda Walker, Wayne Farms, was presented the Unsung Hero Award in recognition of dedicated community service.

During the program members also spoke on upcoming community projects, goals and needs.

For more information on JCCO and how to apply for its scholarship program or how to make a donation, visit http://jccoscholarships.org or call 706-207-9037.

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