Education roundup: Internships, scholarships, enlistees get spotlight

On Friday, Ora Parish, president of Bank of America Greater Augusta/Aiken, ceremonially...
On Friday, Ora Parish, president of Bank of America Greater Augusta/Aiken, ceremonially presented Sue Parr and the chamber with the grant funding check.(Contributed)
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:13 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce received grant funding to advance economic mobility in the amount of $30,000 from Bank of America Charitable Foundation for 2023 Students2Work Internships.

Through the bank’s investment and partnership, this grant will support the placement of 12 Students2Work interns in local nonprofits.

The nonprofits selected to host students this year include Child Enrichment, First Tee - Augusta, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta, American Heart Association, Jessye Normal School of the Arts, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia & the CSRA, the, North Augusta Chamber of Commerce and Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.

Now in its sixth year, this chamber initiative is a six-week paid internship that provides rising juniors and seniors in the Richmond County School System with work-based learning experience.

On Friday, Ora Parish, president of Bank of America Greater Augusta/Aiken, ceremonially presented Sue Parr and the chamber with the grant funding check.

Gala salutes students enlisting in military

Midland Valley High School senior Christian Carrillo receives advice from Medal of Honor...
Midland Valley High School senior Christian Carrillo receives advice from Medal of Honor Recipient Sergeant Ryan Pitts, (U.S. Army, Airborne), at this year’s Our Community Salutes event honoring area students who have recently enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces.(Contributed)

AIKEN, S.C. - The third annual enlistee recognition gala was recently held to honor area high school students who are graduating from academia to the military, choosing to serve and protect our country.

The event was hosted by Our Community Salutes Midlands South Carolina Chapter, with financial support from multiple sponsors, including Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

Enlistees each were escorted by a member of the U.S. armed services and presented with a specially minted challenge coin commemorating the occasion.

Speakers included Maria Gervais, the first woman from South Carolina to hold the rank of lieutenant general.

The keynote speaker was Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Ryan Pitts (U.S. Army, Airborne).

He began his presentation by describing the attack he and his fellow soldiers endured the night of July 13, 2008, in the vicinity of a tiny village in a highly mountainous region of the country.

“Valor was everywhere that day,” said Pitts. “And the real heroes are the nine men who made the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us could return home. It is their names, not mine, that I want people to know.”

SRS contractor provides family scholarships

SRNS scholarship recipients
SRNS scholarship recipients(Contributed)

AIKEN, S.C. - More than 200 graduating high school students have benefited from the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Family Scholarship Program since its inception in 2009, providing $675,000 in college scholarships.

This year, 15 members of SRNS employees’ families each received $3,000 scholarships.

“With $3,000, I can pay for all my books or my housing for a whole semester,” said Jason Edwards of Williston-Elko High School. “I think this is a great thing, especially when you consider that SRNS is providing scholarships to so many others from many local schools.”

The winning students were graded and selected based on ability, leadership, community service and scholastic achievement.

“This gift is going to help lift a pretty big burden off my back, regarding what I’m going to have to pay for college,” said Midland Valley senior Shelby Saunders. “It’s highly appreciated.”

Recipients this year include:

  • Karoline Bolen, Barnwell High School, daughter of Adam Bolen, Environment, Safety, Health and Quality (ESH&Q)
  • Shea Bolt, Aiken Scholars Academy, son of Shawn Bolt, Engineering
  • Caroline Bowers, South Aiken High School, daughter of Len Bowers, Business Services
  • Sarah Cullen, Evans High School, daughter of Dawn Cullen, ESH&Q
  • Sarah Diacetis, Grovetown High School, daughter of Christopher Diacetis, Business Services
  • Jason Edwards, Williston-Elko High School, son of Thomas Edwards, Engineering
  • Caroline Lewis, T.L. Hanna High School, daughter of Michael Lewis, ESH&Q
  • Ireland Mack, Silver Bluff High School, daughter of Jason Mack, Technical Services
  • Aydan Masterson, South Aiken High School, son of Anh Masterson, Engineering
  • Connor Salch, Silver Bluff High School, son of William Salch, ESH&Q
  • Shelby Saunders, Midland Valley High School, daughter of Harold Saunders, ESH&Q
  • Caylee Scott, Aiken High School, daughter of Leon Scott, Engineering
  • Isabella Shappell, Mead Hall Episcopal School, daughter of Joseph Shappell, Engineering
  • Tristan Troutman, Aiken Scholars Academy, son of Duane Troutman, ESH&Q
  • Micah Woodsmall, Selah Christian Academy, son of Todd Woodsmall, Engineering

Festival spreads STEM opportunities for kids

Cindy Hewitt, SRNS education outreach specialist, leads a gumdrop dome building activity which...
Cindy Hewitt, SRNS education outreach specialist, leads a gumdrop dome building activity which educates children and parents about the engineering design process to ensure stability of structures.(Contributed)

WILLISTON, S.C. - Savannah River Nuclear Solutions recently celebrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics opportunities in rural communities at the Dreams, Imagination and Gift STEM Festival in Williston.

The Dreams, Imagination and Gift initiative creates educational opportunities to underserved communities in the CSRA while enriching and engaging young people. Through mentorship, recreation and community involvement, DIG impacts over 540 students annually and partners with businesses and corporations to promote local development.

With more than 1,700 people in attendance, the festival showcased dozens of regional exhibitors who provided hands-on activities, live performances, interactive demonstrations and family-oriented STEM entertainment for many in the community. Parents were able to learn the importance of providing STEM opportunities in their child’s life and the potential career opportunities available.

Aiken Performing Arts launches scholarship

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. - Aiken Performing Arts has established an annual $1,000 scholarship with the Aiken Technical College Foundation.

“We’re wanting to contribute to education, give back to the community, and connect with young people who are our future,” says Tony Ateca, the president of Aiken Performing Arts.

The scholarship will support second-year students who have an interest in the fine arts or “have a passion for the arts,” Ateca said.

Visit to learn more about ways to give and support the Student Scholarship Fund.

Education funds aid students with hearing impairment

GRANITEVILLE, S.C - The Sertoma Club of Aiken gifted the Aiken Technical College Foundation $2,000 on May 15 to support the Sertoma Scholarship for Aiken Tech students with hearing impairment.

“This scholarship supports students that have a hearing impairment. It is so valuable to offer a scholarship for students who have a hidden disability such as hearing loss to support their educational goals and aspirations,” said ATC Foundation Director Beth LaClair, Ph.D.

Sertoma provides scholarships to deaf and hard-of-hearing students who are in undergraduate programs. The Aiken Sertoma Club has served the Aiken area for over 42 years.

The scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year has been awarded to students who have self-identified as having a hearing impairment. All ATC students can apply for scholarships through