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Statesboro Kiwanis Club presents 27 graduating high school seniors scholarships totaling $55,000
Kiwanis scholarships
Recipients of the 2024 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarships, who have now graduated from seven area high schools, gather around Kiwanis Club of Statesboro President Matt Anderson, in back at microphone, and Scholarship Committee members (front-center, left to right) Gwen Yarbrough, Chair John Banter and Crystal Simpkins. The names of the scholars, their high schools and chosen colleges are listed in the story. (SPECIAL)

This year, the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro awarded scholarships totaling $55,000 to 27 graduating seniors of area high schools during two weeks in May.

“Take time to savor this moment, enjoy this moment,” Statesboro Kiwanis President Matt Anderson told scholarship recipients during the May 23 meeting. “Your families are proud of you. You’ve worked hard to earn this right. The scholarships were given to those that represent leadership in our community, and we couldn’t be more proud to have you here.”

Most of the recipients and many of their parents were present that day for lunch in the community building at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds as the club ceremonially awarded the annual Kiwanis Memorial Scholarships, for $2,000 each, to 25 students who have now graduated. The money will actually be paid directly to the universities and colleges where they enroll.

Anderson also thanked the parents, asked the scholarship recipients to thank them as well, and later noted that the local club’s two major fundraising events – Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo in April and the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair in October – are the source of the money that goes into these scholarships.

Each of the 25 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship winners, their high schools and their intended colleges, are listed farther below.

Martha Ross Scholarship

The previous week, during the May 16 meeting, the Kiwanis presented two awards, of $2,500 each, as a newly created scholarship to two other graduating seniors. Davis Grovenstein and Kobe Robinson were the first recipients of the Martha Ross Memorial Scholarship.

Martha Clifton Watring-Ross, who died Sept. 6, 2023, at age 77, was a retired teacher and Future Business Leader of America advisor who chaired the Kiwanis Club’s Education Committee and had also served on the club’s board of directors as well as on its blood drive and scholarship committees and others.

“Ms. Martha was dedicated to this club,” said current Education Committee chair Sam Gaston. “She loved Kiwanis; Kiwanis was her life. She ate, lived, slept and breathed Kiwanis …  and valued hard work, valued education, valued scholarship.”

The club and a donor had decided that a scholarship in Ross’ name was the best way to honor her, he said.  Scholarship Committee Chair John Banter introduced the recipients of the first Martha Ross Memorial Scholarship and asked them to come forward. 

Kobe Robinson has now graduated from Statesboro High, where he was a multisport athlete, running track, playing soccer and volleyball, and among other honors was voted prom king. Son of Tracy Robinson and grandson of Pastor Judy McCrary, he’s going to Georgia Southern University to study sports management.

Kobe Robinson
Kobe Robinson

Davis Grovenstein, son of Alex and Angela Grovenstein, just graduated from Southeast Bulloch High School, where he was active in the Kiwanis-affiliated Key Club, in Beta Club, the National Honor Society and other academic clubs and played on the golf team his senior year after playing football a previous year. He had known Ross, said he loved her and called her a great teacher. Grovenstein will be going to Georgia College and State University where, for now, he plans to major in business.

Davis Grovenstein
Davis Grovenstein

Kiwanis Memorial Scholarships

The 25 young people awarded Kiwanis Memorial Scholarships by the Statesboro Kiwanis Club and its Scholarship Committee in 2024 have now graduated from seven area high schools, public and private, including several in neighboring counties, as well as in Bulloch County.

Scholarship Committee members Crystal Simpkins, Gwen Yarbrough and Banter presented certificates to the scholarship winners who lined up at the front of the room.

From Southeast Bulloch High School, Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship recipients of 2024 are Hudson Bosley, going on to the University of Georgia; Kaylie Brown, to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural  College; Ava King, to the University of Georgia; Kara Mattos, to Troy University; Katelyn Moore, to the University of Georgia; Will Nelson, to the University of Georgia; Brannen Nelson, to Georgia Southern; Jackson Thigpen, to the  University of Georgia; Audrey Thomas, to Georgia Southern; Grace Turner, to Georgia Southern; and Anna Wellman, to the University of Georgia.

From Statesboro High School, the Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship recipients of 2024 are Eli Compton, headed now  to the Georgia Institute of Technology (better known as Georgia Tech); Nicholes Cortes, to Georgia Tech; William James, to Georgia Tech; Yuridia Rodriguez-Diaz, to Georgia Southern; James Ryall, to Georgia Tech; Abigail Smith, to the University of Georgia; Carson Smith, to Mercer University; and Luke Waters, to the University of Georgia.

From Bulloch Academy, Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship recipients of 2024 are Kate Mock, going on to the University of Georgia; and Olivia Wren, also to the University of Georgia.

From Claxton High School, Mollie Lane was awarded a 2024 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship and is headed to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

From David Emanuel Academy, Billy Martin has been awarded a 2024 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship and plans to attend Mercer University.

From Emanuel County Institute, Dhahami Salgado has been awarded a 2024 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship and plans to attend Georgia Southern.

From Screven County High School, Davis Doss III was awarded a 2024 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship and plans to attend Mercer University.

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