“Our goal, through the Community Foundation, working with the Chamber, Workforce Development and the LCDC is to establish a permanent scholarship for Laurens County residents.” Those words yesterday from Dr. Norman Scarborough, speaking as Chair of the Laurens County Community Foundation. The group held a press conference yesterday afternoon in the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce offices announcing the establishment of a fund to enable this as a permanent offering. Scarborough said the Community Fund had met with Laurens High teachers yesterday about the Scholarship, and were to meet yesterday afternoon with teachers and counselors at Clinton High School. He said the goal is to eventually work with middle and lower school grades so that from early years all Laurens County students can be confident they will not have a financial barrier to going to college.
He said that some $100,000 is already pledged from local employers to fund the scholarship, of which $28,000 is already collected, and that fund-raising continues.
He said local industry knows this scholarship fund will help provide a better educated workforce that is better for local employers and for the local economy; and will help provide a better quality of life for all residents of Laurens County.
Dr. Scarborough said that this week’s vote by County Council to shift $50,000 from their Higher Education mill to fund this scholarship for one year will somewhat change implementation of the Community Foundation’s Scholarship, which seeks to see the scholarship a permanent source students can count on for years to come, not one year at a time. While initially hoping for scholarships to start this fall, Scarborough said it looks like funds will be available after the first of 2015.
He said that Piedmont Tech will administer the scholarship for Laurens County students, just as they assist students with state and federal scholarships, so that money raised can be used for the scholarship, not administration.
Students will be expected to start in the school year following graduation from high school, and to maintain acceptable performance at PTC.