The Walker County Republican Party values citizenship, and wants to encourage it from the county's students. That's why they recently awarded three $1,000 scholarships to area seniors who exemplified the qualities of a good citizen. To win the scholarships, the students needed to apply and write an essay explaining their community service and what being a good citizen meant to them.
Matthew Ingram - LaFayette High School
* 4.0 GPA. Plans on attending University of Georgia in the fall to study accounting.
Community Service - Ingram worked 80 service hours with his local church, LaFayette First Baptist, building wheelchair ramps and painting houses on mission trips. He's also done service with his school's Beta Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Citizenship - "I think being a good citizen means serving one's community in a way that allows individuals to be outstanding. You should show you want to progress the whole of society and lift everyone up."
Motivation - "I just feel like I've grown up in an environment that's conducive to me wanting to humbly serve and build relationships with others. There's an inner joy to serving."
Augusta Stone - Gordon Lee High School
* 4.0 GPA. Plans on attending University of Georgia in the fall to study to become a pharmacist.
Community Service - Stone volunteered with the Creative Discovery Museum and with Erlanger hospital. At CDM, she worked closely with the children's classes, helping teach toddlers and young children in science programs. At Erlanger, she worked to transport patients wherever they needed to go. "I loved getting to help make people's days better," Stone said.
Citizenship - "I think being a good citizen means helping your fellow man; trying to give back. By going into health care, I think I can help more people by curing them or making them better."
Motivation - "I wanted to get a firsthand look at what my profession could be like at Erlanger. At the Creative Discovery Museum, I just wanted to work with kids. We have a lot of kids in my family, so I'm around them a lot. I loved playing with them and teaching them. The area at the museum for the zero- to four-year-old kids was my favorite."
Alexandra Link - Ridgeland High School
* 3.8 GPA. Plans on attending University of Alabama in the fall to study journalism and hopefully get a job with ESPN or another sports broadcaster.
Community Service - Link logged over 120 service hours in her community throughout the last year, varying between her time with Ridgeland's Beta Club and Key Club, a student-led organization connected to the Kiwanis Club.
Citizenship - "A good citizen is someone who loves their country and community, is always looking for ways to help their community or others, and they are taking the time to give back and help others."
Motivation - "Just seeing the appreciation and the joy something little could do for the people in my community really motivated me to do more to continue to bring that joy to as many people as possible."