Anniston High School graduate Beonica Taylor and Oxford High School graduate Corey Copeland each received a $5,000 scholarship to be spent over four years while attending the University of Alabama. The scholarship is funded by Paul Bryant, who has ties to the local Boys and Girls Club.
"A few years ago, Paul Bryant came to one of our events and made this commitment and investment," said Johnny Byrd, chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Central Alabama.
Byrd said that the recipients of the award are challenged to consider how the opportunities provided through the scholarship not only helps them become great, but also how they will use it to help others become great, which is a mission of the Boys and Girls Club.
Taylor said she will encourage others to reach their own aspirations.
"Greatness is achieving your own personal goals, not what other people think of you," she said.
Taylor's personal goals include graduating at the top of her law class.
"This (scholarship) will be my first major step to greatness," she said.
Copeland discussed his future intentions for working with the Boys and Girls Club. He said he wants to start a program that allows local Boys and Girls Club members to travel across the country. He said this opportunity is rarely available to the children because of financial restraints in many families.
He wants them to experience variety and receive knowledge about other people so they can "bring back different ideas and mindsets."
"I want to show kids that there is a world outside of Alabama," he said.
The campaign and ceremony focused on fund-raising and volunteer efforts for the organization. Guests were encouraged to participate through charitable giving and volunteerism.
Currently nearly 300 children attend the summer program at seven sites in the area.
The program focuses on several aspects of life that organization leaders believe will help the children in the future.
"We're trying to instill skills and learning that will help them as adults," said Tavia Sillmon, site director of the Lincoln Boys & Girls Club 21st Century Center. "We help reinforce values that will help them be successful."
The Boys and Girls Club offers homework assistance, life skills education and mentoring for children.
"Relationships with young people are so important," Byrd said. "We must be merchants of hope in our communities for young people "
The "Help Me to Be Great" campaign lasts through the summer. Interested donors can contact the Boys and Girls Club at the central office at 920 Noble Street in Anniston.