A local student was rewarded Tuesday for his charitable contributions to the community.
Southeast Bulloch High School senior Ethan Perkins was named the winner of a $2,000 scholarship provided by the Exchange Club of Statesboro.
The Exchange Club, a service organization, announced the honor during its 2012-2013 Youth of the Year program held at RJ’s Steakery.
Perkins was selected for award — from among a group of six students — because of good work both in and out of the classroom.
“The National Exchange Club began this program to honor hard-working students in our community who obtain high-levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement and leadership,” said Wendy Woodrum, a member of the Exchange Club board of directors. “The students must be planning to attend college, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and participate in at least four extra curricular or community service activities; they must be of high moral character and considered a leader among peers.”
In just a few years, Perkins has built a resume full of community service efforts.
The senior, who plans to attend the University of Georgia and, later, medical school, is a graduate of Youth Leadership Bulloch and one of 50 students named to the state superintendent’s Student Advisory Board.
Perkins has served on mission trips to build low income housing projects, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and Keep Bulloch Beautiful, and sat on a student advisory board for Bulloch County Schools.
“It means a lot to win this award. Community service is something you don’t really expect to be recognized for,” Perkins said. “(Being chosen) was kind of a surprise. I knew that my speech really went well, and I was excited about the opportunity, but I also knew that the other students were great community servants and students. The scholarship is going to go a long way I hope. College is definitely expensive. I’m really excited.”
Perkins, who was required to write and read (at a previous Exchange Club meeting) an essay to earn the scholarship, will move on to a state-level Exchange Club competition.
Anna Mallard, a Bulloch Academy senior, finished a close runner-up, according to Woodrum, earning her a $500 prize.
All of the students were given a $100 gift card.
The students honored Tuesday were: Mallard (Bulloch Academy), Perkins (Southeast Bulloch High School), Lane Anderson (Portal Middle High School), Nia Lewis (Statesboro High School), Brandon Robinson (Southeast Bulloch High), and Jeff Smith (Statesboro High).
Georgia Southern University head football coach Jeff Monken served as a guest speaker for the event.
“For those of you being honored today, I really want to encourage you to never stop serving. It is your duty, as you grow and become a leader, that you serve and encourage others to do so,” Monken said. “There will always be people who need you.”
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.