Lightning strikes and the thunder claps of an afternoon thunderstorm were no match for the bright smiles and loud claps of applause coming from the audience gathered at the pavilion at the Elizabeth F. Correll Teen Center Thursday.
College of Coastal Georgia officials and leaders with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia were gathered to pay tribute to the newest winner of a coveted local scholarship.
The ceremony centered on recent Brunswick High School graduate Alexxis Mells, the 2015 recipient of College of Coastal Georgia’s Real Life Scholar Scholarship.
The scholarship, provided by the college foundation, covers tuition, fees and books. It is awarded to an outstanding Boys and Girls Club student who has been labeled a “Real Life” teen.
Now in its fourth year, the scholarship is intended to set college students out on a successful secondary education path, starting at the College of Coastal Georgia, said college president Greg Aloia.
“Whether the scholarship recipient spends all four years here with us as a Mariner or decides to move to another college, they will have the solid foundation they need to succeed in life and have a well-rounded education,” he said. “Miss Mells may be honored by this award, but trust me, we at the college are more honored to provide her with this award and know a deserving student can take hold of a successful life.”
Watching as her daughter took center stage, Mells’ mother, Velencia Davis, nodded in agreement as her daughter was handed the prize. Davis wasn’t shocked by the news. Her daughter has always been a great student and a model citizen, so seeing her rewarded for her hard work only seemed right.
“I’m proud,” Davis said, noting that she herself is a graduate of the college and is now a nurse.
In the crowd of education leaders, family, friends and mentors, Mells stood, her head held high, as she accepted her scholarship certificate, smiling as others took pictures of her standing with those who have helped her along the way.
An active student with the Boys and Girls Club since the age of 6, Mells said she grew up with the club always at the center of her life. When she heard about the scholarship opportunity, she didn’t hesitate to fill out her application and throw her name into the hat.
“I just thought, well, what do I have to lose,” Mells said. “I’m excited to go on to college and be in a place that I know will help me reach my goals.”
In college, Mells plans to major in psychology, possibly with a focus on social psychology, a move Aloia said he would encourage her to take.
Talking one-on-one after the scholarship ceremony, Aloia offered Mells advice on courses and student activities on campus that would help her push her career goals in a fruitful direction.
“And if you ever need me, just stop by my office. If you have questions or anything, I’m here on campus to help move you and all our students along,” Aloia said, handing Mells his card with his cell phone number jotted down on the back. “You have a great support team with you now, in your family and in this college. Welcome.”
The Brunswick News
July 24, 2015