Fine Arts major receives scholarship from Aiken High School Alumni
Aiken, SC (04/14/2021) — As members of the Aiken High School class of the 1969 began planning their 50-year reunion, they also began thinking of ways to give back to their alma mater.
"We didn't want to dedicate a bench, a tree, or a plaque to our high school," said Maria Gregory Taylor (Class of '69). We wanted the legacy to stay in Aiken because so many of us attended USCA at Banksia."
The Aiken High School Alumni-USC Aiken Scholarship Committee was formed, and the "$20 by 2020" fundraising effort was launched among Aiken High alumni with the goal of endowing a scholarship for deserving AHS graduates who go on to attend University of South Carolina (UofSC) Aiken.
It was no small task. Endowing a scholarship at the university requires a minimum of $10,000, (this amount is payable in a lump sum, or pledged over 2 to 5 years.) The principal amount is invested, and after five-quarters of interest and earnings, scholarships are awarded.
Taylor and her committee quickly exceeded their goal by raising almost $13,000 to establish the Aiken High Endowed Scholarship fund in less than a year. The committee, which includes members of several AHS graduating classes, plans to continue fundraising to increase the amount of the scholarship.
"All AHS alumni teamed together to create an endowed scholarship at UofSC Aiken to benefit future AHS graduates who attend the university," Taylor said. "You can help carry the Hornet legacy forward by giving to the Aiken High School Scholarship fund."
The scholarship is open to Aiken High School students attending UofSC Aiken full-time who graduated with at least a 3.0 GPA and maintain at least a 2.75 GPA while attending UofSC Aiken.
Alanna Jendraszek, a 2020 graduate of AHS is the first recipient of the Aiken High Scholarship. An art major concentrating in studio and digital arts, Alanna received $500 to further her education at UofSC Aiken. "It's a great school, and it's also close to home," Jendraszek said. "With the pandemic starting right before (high school) graduation, and my hesitation about leaving, it seemed like a natural choice to get both a good education and stay with my family."
"It would be a great investment," Jendraszek said of anyone considering contributing to the scholarship fund. "This scholarship is helping me, so it can definitely help someone else out there." To donate to the Aiken High Endowed Scholarship fund, call 803-641-3518.