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Scholarship recipient Jordan makes school history

Mikayla Jordan, scholarship winner.

A Thomas County Central High School senior has made scholarship history for her school.

TCCHS received word Thursday that Lindsey “MiKayla” Jordan has earned the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship for the University of Georgia. She is the first TCCHS student to receive this award.

“I found out about my receiving the scholarship in the middle of class,” Jordan said. “It was completely out of the blue but the email subject line said something about a scholarship, so I figured I'd open it. The first line read ‘congratulations’ and already I was on cloud nine.”

The scholarship provides $5,000 per year, paid over eight semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment or until completion of bachelor degree (if first). It is funded through the Coca-Cola Foundation.

“The scholarship is aptly named because it applies only to outstanding freshmen who are the first of their immediate family to attend college,” Jordan said.

Jordan intends to attend UGA to double major in entertainment and media studies and graphic design. To remain a Coca-Cola First Generation Scholar, according to the award letter, she must keep an overall UGA grade point average of at least 2.8 for her first year, followed by a 3.0 for each of the next three years. It can be combined with state-funded HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship.

Jordan said it is truly “such an honor” to receive this scholarship and it comes at just the right time.

“I've spent weeks concerned about scholarships and thinking over the money I would still need to attend college,” she said. “Even with Zell Miller and a few assorted things, I knew I still had a five-digit sum to make up for, but this is really doing so much to ease my mind. It just makes me look forward to UGA even more knowing I have this additional weight off my shoulders.”

Other scholarship requirements include completion of a required seminar course this fall semester and participation in several activities, such as presence at annual receptions and attendance during at least two Division of Academic Enhancement sponsored co-curricular events per semester. Also, recipients must engage with a faculty or staff mentor the first semester and provide subsequent service in future years as a mentor to new scholarship recipients.

Jordan’s teachers are thrilled for her.

TCCHS Broadcasting teacher Randy Young calls Jordan “the kind of young person who will succeed at anything she sets her mind to.” He adds Jordan has an impressive “combination of natural talent, a desire to learn, and solid work ethic that is rare.”

Judy Holwell taught Jordan in Honors Biology and AP Biology. She calls Jordan “one of the most memorable students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching at TCCHS.”

“Though demure in demeanor, MiKayla exudes a quiet confidence in her intellectual abilities,” Holwell said. “It seems almost as though her academic achievements are effortless.  Also remarkable is her writing. Her skill at written expression is exceptional and extends to all subjects and genres. MiKayla is most deserving of this honor, and I am proud to have had a small part in her academic preparation.”

Amy Ponder is Jordan’s AP Psychology/Current Issues teacher and her Quiz bowl advisor.

“I am thrilled with Coca-Cola for recognizing MiKayla's extraordinary intelligence and helping her achieve her goals,” Ponder said. “I can envision MiKayla being successful in her pursuits, but this scholarship will make her journey so much easier. She is so deserving and will make Thomas County Central High School proud!”

Jordan is “grateful” for the scholarship and is ready to “tackle” her future.

“I feel like I have to give up Mountain Dew and start drinking Coca-Cola products now,” she joked. “But I am seriously grateful for this and it just came at such a great time. There's nothing more motivating than something this good coming at just the right time to really make someone ready to tackle the future.”

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