"Some of the teenagers — the seniors — they would not be able to start the fall semester without that scholarship," said Debra Jones, an attorney who sits on the foundation's board.
Each year the foundation awards scholarships to area residents based on academics, community involvement, extra curricular activities at their respective schools and an essay about how they will use their education to benefit their community. Thirty-five local students applied.
"Once they graduate from college, we hope that they will come back to the community and give back to the community — community service, or volunteer in different programs," said Kay Beard, director of operations.
The foundation was incorporated in 2001 after the Monsanto settlement to help promote and support the health and education of economically disadvantaged residents and former residents of west Anniston, Beard said. It also awards grants to organizations that strive to help the area.
"We just love helping people," she said. "Especially the residents of west Anniston. We're so disenfranchised over here in west Anniston."
The scholarship winners are:
• Terryod Burnett — Anniston High School, valedictorian and senior class president. Burnett plans to attend the University of Alabama, majoring in pre-medicine.
• Pita Edwards — Lincoln High School, Beta Club and student government member. Edwards plans to attend Jacksonville State University, majoring in engineering and minoring in business.
• Breanna Elston — Anniston High School, marching and concert band member, Key Club and Future Business Leaders of America. Elston plans to attend UA, majoring in special education or speech-language pathology with a minor in biology.
• Shanequa Elston — Anniston High School, FBLA member and president. Elston also was in Beta Club, Key Club and Upward Bound. She plans to attend Gadsden State Community College, majoring in business administration.
• ShaCarol Gibson — Faith Christian School, volleyball team, choir, drama, Beta Club and student government. Gibson plans to attend Gadsden State Community College, and then transfer to JSU or UAB to pursue a career in nursing.
• ShaQ'uil Kelly — Wellborn High School, National Honor Society, Key Club and FBLA. She also was a political writer for the school newspaper, and she volunteered at Wellborn Elementary School. Kelly plans to attend Jacksonville State University to pursue a career in the medical field.
• Brandon Roberts — Oxford High School, student council vice president, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, All-County baseball. Roberts plans to attend Shelton State Community College and major in business administration.
• Beonica Taylor — Anniston High School, marching and concert band, FBLA, student government, National Honor Society and varsity softball. Taylor plans to attend UA and major in English and minor in history. Taylor also plans to attend Howard University Law School in Washington, D. C.
• Terellitha Walker — Anniston High School, FBLA, volleyball and softball, National Honor Society, and SGA vice president. She plans to attend Auburn University's Montgomery campus and major in criminal justice. She plans to become a forensic investigator.
• Tysonn McKinnon — JSU, majoring in pre-business and plans to transfer to Auburn University in the fall.