The Rotary Club of Aiken has awarded scholarships worth a total of $105,000 to 21 high school graduates from the class of 2020.

Each recipient received $5,000.

“We are thrilled with the community’s support, especially this year, because we were able to increase the number of our scholarships to 21, which is record-breaking,” said Betty Ryberg, co-chair of the Rotary Club’s Scholarship Committee. “We usually give 14 or 15.”

The grants’ official name is the Rotary Club of Aiken Foundation Scholarships Supported By the Albrecht Family Charitable Trust.

In addition to the trust, other donors included The Gifting Tree Foundation, the Kisner Foundation and Rotary Club members.

The scholarships are for students who live in Area 1 of the Aiken County Public School District or who attend an Area 1 school.

There were approximately 120 applicants this year.

“The process of selecting our recipients is lengthy as members of the Scholarship Committee are diligent in determining winners,” said Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Linda Strojan. “Not only did our winners exhibit the Rotary qualities inherent within the motto of Service Above Self, but they also are dedicated students who have identified goals and have worked toward making those goals a reality.

“Each of our recipients took care in filling out the scholarship application, answering all questions and sharing a sense of who they are in their answers,” Strojan continued. “It was a particularly difficult task this year as so many of our students are both exceptional and deserving.”

The 2020 scholarship recipients, along with the schools they plan to attend included Alea Sypho Atkinson, USC Aiken; Brice Bennett, University of South Carolina; Caley Bright, University of South Carolina; Carly Burgess, University of South Carolina; Jakobe Bush, USC Aiken; Gabriel Collins, Clemson University; and Brandi DeHaven, Winthrop University.

Among the others were Xochilt Godoy, USC Aiken; Luke Hamrick, University of South Carolina; Joseph Hartman, Clemson University; Julia Harper, Lander University; Jayson Haven, University of South Carolina; Abigail Heyward, USC Aiken; and Jacob Hibbitts, University of South Carolina.

Additional scholarship recipients were Addam Holsenback, USC-Lancaster; Brianna Johnson, University of South Carolina; Elaina Massey, Aiken Technical College; James Platte, The Citadel; Jesse Sanders, University of South Carolina; Kelsey Waters, Bridge to Clemson Program; and Hannah Wheeland, Clemson University.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. For more access to these types of articles subscribe at my special rate. Click here