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Scholarship created for Miss-Lou veterans, families

NATCHEZ — Veterans who choose to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College Natchez campus could get some of their education costs paid for through a new scholarship.

The Miss-Lou Patriotic Tribute Committee presented the college with a $5,000 check Wednesday for the creation of an endowment scholarship that will be available to veterans or a family member of a veteran.

Doug McCallister, event chairman, said the idea to create the scholarship came from the committee’s desire to give back to the community.

“We saw a very specific need in the veteran community for veterans, and also the veterans families, to be able to provide adequate funding for them to continue their education,” McCallister said. “Hopefully this will help offset that shortfall whether it’s a veteran or a member of their family.”

When McCallister saw how well the Miss-Lou received the patriotic tribute’s Vietnam Wall replica and traveling exhibit in November, he said the need to give back became apparent.

“This is our way of saying, ‘Hey, y’all supported us in what we’re doing, and this is a way for us to support y’all,’” McCallister said. “We hope that this scholarship can be a motivational factor or incentive for someone to want to go back to school when everyone’s budget is tight.”

Co-Lin Natchez campus vice president Teresa A. Busby said the contribution is one that she welcomed with open arms.

“We don’t have a lot of scholarships specifically for the Natchez campus, so we’re always just honored and thrilled when we do have someone interested in a scholarship,” Busby said. “We’re very big supporters of veterans and their families, and we try to do a lot of outreach in that area, so this is something near and dear to our hearts.”

Busby said the first scholarship recipient will be announced in April during the school’s annual awards program.

The endowment scholarship will continue growing over a period of time instead of being spent all at once.

The first scholarship recipient will receive $250 that the student can spend on tuition, books or other school expenses.

Busby said the other benefit of an endowment scholarship is that community members can specifically chose to donate to the veteran scholarship and help it grow over time.

“We hope it grows a lot over the next few years,” Busby said. “The larger it grows, the more money the student will receive.”

McCallister said the Co-Lin scholarship is just the beginning, as he hopes to create another scholarship across the river at the Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Ferriday.