The Leavelle McCampbell School Alumni Association Board and Activity Members awarded nine scholarships to Midland Valley High seniors during the school's Senior Awards Day program.

The scholarships totaled $10,250, according to a news release from the association.

Association President Joel Randall and Benny Jackson presented five $1,250 scholarships to Corianna Durham, Kelli Fonce, Chanelle Hanberry, Paiton Hutto and Kyla Rivers.

Leavelle McCampbell Alumni Association 2019 LMS scholarships 1

Midland Valley High School seniors Kyla Rivers, Paiton Hutto, Chanelle Hanberry, Kelli Fonce and Corianna Durham with Benny Jackson and Joel Randall received scholarships from the Leavelle McCampbell School Alumni Association Board and Activity Members.

Four privately or foundation-endowed $1,000 scholarships were awarded in honor or memory of Leavelle McCampbell alumni or a family member.

Clyde Harkins presented the James (Jimmy) Bryant Memorial Scholarship, endowed by Clyde and Christine Bryant Harkins and family, to Christian Hawkins.

Sally Jennings presented the Verna and Julian Proctor Scholarship, endowed by Steve and Monica Proctor, to Carson Redd; the Russell Gunter Memorial Scholarship, privately endowed, to Luis Ruvalcaba; and assisted by her daughter, Lynne Johnson Harling and granddaughters, Ashlyn and Taylor, the Jean Johnson Memorial Scholarship, endowed by the Gregg-Graniteville Foundation, to Joseph Wade Johnson.

The association's Scholarship Program began in 2013 with two $500 scholarships. With this “banner” year for membership, donations, endowments and participation in sponsored activities, the association has awarded $27,250 in scholarships.

Connections Academy celebrates graduates

The South Carolina Connections Academy, a statewide K-12 online public school, celebrated the graduation of over 500 graduating seniors during a ceremony in Columbia on June 7.

The graduates from Aiken are Kenneth Lampe, Kaylee Barron, Matthew Montalto-Cansle, William Swart, Brianna Browder, Kaylee Belt, Kayla Lewis, Frank Thomas Jr., Ellen Rushton, Jade Yon, Carson McEntire, Lydia Stapleton, Elizabeth Newsome, Savannah Dawes, Devin Beedle, Sierra Nieto and Robert Fields.

Students from India visit USCA

USC Aiken welcomed eight students from India once again in May as part of the Global Leadership Program between USCA and Ajeenkya D.Y. Patil University in Pune, India.

Indian students at USC Aiken May 2019 Indian students 2

Students from Ajeenkya D.Y. Patil University in Pune, India, visited USC Aiken in May as part of an exchange program.

During their visit, the students learned more about U.S. government and history through lectures, a trip to the Statehouse in Columbia and interactive activities, according to a news release from USCA. They also attended the annual Aiken Memorial Day Parade and learned the reason why Americans observe the holiday.

They also got a firsthand glimpse into the First Amendment, with visits to the CNN Studio in Atlanta and the Aiken Standard. To help enhance the international visitors' perspective on commerce in America, the guests visited Bridgestone in Aiken, the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta and ADP in Augusta.

The cultural exchange also included some entertainment venues, including the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Carowinds near Charlotte and the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia. Stops also were made to some local favorites, including Hitchcock Woods, Hopelands Gardens and the Aiken horse community.

In addition to the fun and educational opportunities shared with USCA students, the two universities paired up for a community outreach project with Habitat for Humanity.

"This culture and lifestyle have shown me a different perspective of how life is in the U.S.," said Viraj Wadikar, an undergraduate majoring in mechatronics engineering in India. "The beautiful environment and the way people treat each other just make the experience more wonderful."

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.