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OTC honors 37 scholarship recipients at banquet
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    Ogeechee Technical College honored 37 scholarship recipients as well as those who make the scholarships possible with a banquet held Monday evening in the college’s Occupational Studies Building conference center.
    Kevin Fletcher, vice president of Georgia Power’s Community and Economic Development division, was keynote speaker for the event.
    He praised the students who received the scholarships through competitive grades and encouraged them to continue striving for achievement in the future.
    The 37 scholarship recipients were chosen from 289 applicants, said Beth Mathews, OTC Vice President for Institutional Advancement. She thanked scholarship sponsors and donors as well, pointing out the number of applications as evidence of need for their services.
    “We always have a need for additional scholarships,” she said.
    Fletcher echoed her sentiments. “Thank you to all of you who have made the (Ogeechee Technical College) Foundation a reality,” he said.
    Fletcher spoke of the tough economical times and the importance of not only luring new businesses into the state, but “growing existing businesses.” He said Georgia ranks third in the country regarding growth.
    Georgia is competitive worldwide because of its proximity to markets, airports and ports, transportation available and its “international flavor,” he said.
    But the strong work force availability is highly important as well, he said.
    That translates into “how ready you and I are to go to work,” he said.
    Schools like Ogeechee Technical Institute are valuable in that they prepare students to enter the work force, he said.
    In speaking about the economy’s condition, Fletcher said he was “ not here to spread gloom and doom”and said business are “stepping back and analyzing their markets.”
    “Those companies who do that effectively will be the most successful,” he said. “We’re going to have valleys and peaks — and we’re in a valley.”
    He praised students for trying to better themselves and  further their education, and encouraged them to keep that competitive edge.
    Fletcher told a story about his son, who is interested in music and attending Georgia Technical College. He spoke about trying to encourage his son to seek alternative employment but then realized it was music his son was passionate about.
    “I’ve been trying to instill in my children to find  that passion and go after that dream,” he said, “He heard it, he’s doing it - it just might not be the path  that I chose.”
    Guests also heard from scholarship recipient Eliot Lee, who spoke about how important the scholarship was to him. “Rest assured, in these harsh economic times, every penny is appreciated,” he said.
    The following received scholarships and were recognized at the banquet:
    Auxiliary of East Georgia Regional Medical Center Scholarship: Angela Brannen, Marsha Cobb, Earl Jenkins.
    Bulloch County Farm Bureau: Kevin Deal.
    Charlie Joe Mathews Memorial Scholarship: Sarah Bussell, Star Harris, Katalin Yager.
    David Russell Memorial Scholarship: Ackyla Moreira, Daniel Wilson.
    Dorothy Brown Memorial Scholarship: Samantha Fail.
    Frances Allen Memorial Scholarship: Teresa Futch.
    Hospital Authority of Bulloch County Scholarship: Terri Alsobrook, Laura Bickerton, Margaret Crosby, Denise Haynes, Karen Herring, Eliot Lee Jr., Lisa Rivera, Anna Rogers, Susan Townsend, and Russell Wilcher.
    Moore Claxton/Evans County Scholarship: Rhiannon DeLoach, Tracey McCoy.
    Ogeechee Tech Foundation General Scholarship: Tanna Dobbs, Lacy Harn, Christina Ivey, Jeffery Tatum, Jodi White.
    Ogeechee Tech Foundation  Non-Traditional Scholarship: Jodi Brannon,     Crystal Sasser.
    Past President’s Scholarship: Stanley Harn, Pamela Mann.
    Philip Stewart Memorial Scholarship: Christina Center.
    Prince Davis Memorial Scholarship: Anthony Leveritt.
    Robert Cox Tumor Registry Scholarship: Flora Beard.

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