January 13-- The window is now open for area students to apply for a scholarship honoring the memory of a beloved Toombs County teen. From now until March 5th, qualified seniors who wish to apply for the first annual Courtney Wilkes Ag & Vet Scholarship can submit their applications. Vidalia® onion farmers have collected donations to fund the scholarship for at least ten years in the amount of $1,000.
In June 2011, 15-year-old Courtney Wilkes of Toombs County was brutally murdered while she was on vacation with her family in Florida. The Vidalia® onion industry established this scholarship to honor the life of the bright, funny, friendly young woman. Seniors graduating within the Vidalia onion growing region who are enrolled in either Agriculture or Veterinary fields may apply. They must possess many of the positive attributes Courtney displayed each day including strong morals, good humor, intelligence, commitment to learning, and respectful appreciation of nature and animals. Those counties qualifying are: Emanuel, Candler, Treutlen, Bulloch, Wheeler, Montgomery, Evans, Tattnall, Toombs, Telfair, Jeff Davis, Appling, Bacon, Jenkins, Screven, Laurens, Dodge, Pierce, Wayne, and Long.
Courtney was a rising junior at Toombs County High School and number one in her class academically. She was an officer of FFA, star soccer player, and devout Christian. She was an outdoor enthusiast described by all who knew her as infectiously cheerful and who offered to everyone around her a bright smile and silly jokes. She loved animals and aspired to be a veterinarian, which is why applicants must be enrolled in an agriculture or veterinary track.
Scholarship applications should be submitted by hard copy specifically to:
Courtney Wilkes Scholarship
C/O Vidalia® Onion Business Council
Mail: P.O. Box 2611
In Person: 100 Vidalia Sweet Onion Dr.
Vidalia, GA, 30475