Each year Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is afforded the opportunity to present students in their service area with scholarships to help them attend college or vocational school. This year nine people across Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin Counties received a total of over $7,000 in funds to help them pursue their educational goals. This amount includes the newest award offered by the agency; the Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship.
The Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship is a $2,000 prize awarded to an individual who is majoring in Social Work, Human Services, Public Services, or a related field; has a history of volunteer work; is in at least their third year of study; and has a financial need.
Mike Howell, Executive Director of BSACAP, said that Eula Hall has served on the agency’s board of directors for 36 years and that her work in the community should be an inspiration to the next generation of advocates. “She is truly an advocate for our people. From her work to build and expand the Mud Creek Clinic to her work for black lung patients and workers’ rights or even just helping people get through the end of the month by making sure they have food or medicine, she is a woman of the people and we are lucky to have her.”
The winner of the first ever Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship is Amy Combs of Garrett. Combs is in her final year at Morehead State University where she is studying to become a substance abuse counselor. As a recovering addict herself, she is passionate about helping other people find their way out of substance abuse and onto a fulfilling life. Combs attends school full-time, works full-time, and is a single mother with two sons. In her free time she coaches boys’ basketball. She has previously volunteered with local senior citizens centers and at a local shelter.
BSACAP Deputy Director Wanda Thacker said, “Amy has expressed interest in staying in the area to work and serve the people here. She has overcome hardship and has shown a real passion for caring for other people. She is just the sort of person we’re looking for to carry the torch and we know she will do good things.”
Seven Community Service Block Grant scholarships were also awarded. These scholarships are available to students who reside in Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike counties who demonstrate a financial need and write an essay explaining why their education is important and why they deserve the scholarship. This year’s winners are as follows:
Montana Adams, of Prestonsburg, will be studying Secondary Mathematics Education at Alice Lloyd College. Jessica Hill, of Betsy Lane, will be studying Medical Information Technology at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Shawn Kidd, of Drift, will be studying Nursing at the Galen College of Nursing. Caitlin Little, of Pikeville, will be studying Nursing at Pikeville College. Reaford May Jr., of Elkhorn City, will be studying at Bellevue University. Evan Prince, of Lovely, will be studying Psychology at Morehead State University. Juanita Vickers, of Hardy, will be studying Social Work at Morehead State University.
Wanda Thacker, Deputy Director of BSACAP, said, “Through these scholarships we are trying to give a little extra help for the expenses they might incur during the school year. We really applaud these students for making the choice to continue their education and we are grateful for the opportunity to encourage them on their way.”
The BSACAP scholarship application period begins in May and ends in June each year. Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the US Department of Health and Human Services.