Thunderbolt Improvement Association, Town of Thunderbolt Present Scholarship to Johnson Student


L-r: Dr. Freddie Gilyard, Elijah Scott, Nicole Golden, Karen Johnson, and Kimberly Chappell-Stevens
L-r: Dr. Freddie Gilyard, Elijah Scott, Nicole Golden, Karen Johnson, and Kimberly Chappell-Stevens

In a spirit of collaboration, the Thunderbolt Community Improvement Association and the Town of Thunderbolt presented two $300 scholarships to senior Elijah Scott of Johnson High School.

The Thunderbolt Community Improvement Association has a history of donating money and supplies to the residents of Thunderbolt, GA. The Association has been in existence since the 1950’s and was established to give the African American residents of Thunderbolt a vehicle to communicate with the Town of Thunderbolt officials. Now, the membership is open to any resident of Thunderbolt and is comprised of a diverse membership.

In January, President Kimberly Chappell-Stevens presented the goal of doing something to promote scholastic achievement in the community to Association members. I t was decided that the Association would sponsor an essay contest that would be open to high school seniors living in the Thunderbolt community. Thunderbolt students attending any high school in Chatham County could apply. The Association would give $300 to the winner. After discussing the idea with members of the Thunderbolt Town Council, the Town of Thunderbolt decided this contest was a worthwhile effort in promoting literacy among the community and decided to donate an additional $300 for the winner as well. The topic of the contest was What would you do to improve life for students in the Thunderbolt Community?

Two students answered the call, Nicole Golden and Elijah Scott. After reading both entries, scholarship chairman, Karen Johnson and her committee selected Elijah Scott’s essay as the winner.

On May 26, 2011, both students were recognized by the Association and praised for taking the time to enter the contest. Both essays were read to the group and the community members were very impressed with the ideas and suggestions both student presented in their papers. Principal Freddie Gilyard was on hand to help present the checks to the winner Elijah Scott and love token to Nicole Golden.

This collaboration between the Town of Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt Community Improvement Association is nothing new for the Thunderbolt community.

In the 1990’s, the two groups worked together to secure funding to improve local park Nellie Johnson. This effort is good and it is hoped that more neighborhood associations can collaborate with local municipalities to promote academic programs in their respective communities.


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