Local company offering college funding

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2005

With the costs for higher education always rising, scholarship monies are a valuable commodity.

A local telecommunications company, Camellia Communications, is trying to help out Greenville’s graduating seniors with those spiraling costs.

The company is now offering several scholarships to local high school seniors, says Evelyn Causey, chief financial officer for the company.

&uot;We first started this program in our Hayneville office to assist graduating seniors in that area. We started out with six $1,000 scholarships. Then, when we opened the office in Greenville, we decided to do the same thing for its students.&uot;

The official name of the scholarship is the 2005 Mr. and Mrs. Howard S. Powell, II Telecommunications Scholarship, a name with special meaning for Causey.

&uot;The Powells were my grandparents. My grandmother was a teacher; my grandfather never got the chance to go to college due to financial circumstances. We felt like it was the right thing to do to honor their memory as we help our young people achieve their own educational goals.&uot;

The company is now giving three $2,000 scholarships to a two- or four-year accredited institution instead of the six smaller scholarships.

Criteria for the scholarships, Causey says, is based not only on academic performance, including ACT scores and grade point average, but community involvement as well.

&uot;We are also looking at these students’ civic involvement and volunteer work along with the financial needs of the individual.&uot;

Causey stresses the scholarships are available to any graduating seniors in the Greenville area, not just those whose families are customers of Camellia Communications.

The telecommunications company plans to expand its scholarship commitments as it expands its own service territory.

&uot;We are still growing and we will be bringing service to McKenzie, Georgiana and other outlying areas in the county. So we are planning to offer scholarship monies in the future to those communities also. And we hope to increase the amount we are giving in all our scholarships as we grow,&uot; Causey explains.

The company has been &uot;extremely pleased&uot; with the response so far from applicants, she says.

&uot;We have had a really wonderful response here in Greenville to this opportunity.&uot;

For more details about the scholarships, copies of the applications can be obtained from the guidance counselors at GHS and FDA or can be picked up at the Camellia Communications business office located at 201 Greenville Bypass, Suite 3. The deadline for applications with required attachments is no later than April 8.

&uot;We should be making announcements about the winners by early May,&uot; says Causey. For more scholarship information, contact Evelyn Causey at (334) 548-2108.