CACF facilitates scholarships for high school seniors

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Graduating seniors attending high school in Lowndes and Butler Counties may be eligible for scholarships, thanks to the generosity of donors and the efforts of the Central Alabama Community Foundation (CACF).

In 2022, CACF connected three seniors — two in Lowndes County and one in Butler County — with education dollars through scholarship funding and for 36 years, the foundation has helped donors give back to their local communities.

“We are a philanthropic vehicle that people can use to make gifts through us back into the community for years and years to come,” said CACF President Burton Crenshaw. “Individuals, families, and even businesses have set up scholarships for a lot of different reasons. We always just say that people give through us, not to us, so our purpose is to work with individuals and businesses that want to be philanthropic and help them facilitate a match.”

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Georgiana High School graduate Jasmena Crittenden received an award from the Butler County Scholarship in 2022. The award benefits graduating Black seniors of Georgiana School, Greenville High School, and McKenzie School and is renewable for up to four years.

Crittenden heard about the opportunity when CACF Vice President of Community Services Clare Johnson visited her classroom to tell students about available scholarships.

“Mrs. Johnson came down and talked to us about the scholarship,” Crittenden said. She is using the award now at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia to help with books and other school expenses.

“It helps a lot, especially with books and fees,” Crittenden said. “It definitely helps me work towards my degree in nursing.”

According to Crenshaw, giving through CACF helps donors stretch their giving dollars by partnering with other donors.

“Donors sometimes want scholarships to go into perpetuity in memory of a loved one or in honor of continuing the legacy of something,” Crenshaw said. “People can make a larger impact with their giving.”

Damaria Johnson, a 2022 graduate from The Calhoun School, was awarded the Virginia & LaRue Haigler, Sr. Family Foundations Scholarship through CACF. Johnson learned about the scholarship that benefits graduating Calhoun or Central High School seniors with a minimum 2.5 GPA while researching her family history.

“I learned about the scholarship while I was looking into my family background,” Johnson said. “We found out my grandfather, whose first name was Haigler, had a history in Lowndes County that went pretty far back and was connected to Mrs. Davis [whose family donated the scholarship funding].”

CACF administers several scholarship programs. Some, like the Butler County Scholarship and the Virginia & LaRue Haigler, Sr. Family Foundations Scholarship, benefit students in specific high schools or those living within certain counties. Others are directed at students planning to attend a certain college or enter a designated career.

All applications are processed through CACF, and foundation personnel guide applicants through each step of the process.

“We facilitate everything,” Crenshaw said. “Donors come to us, and we work with them on setting criteria for the scholarships. Then we handle everything from the application to the award of funds to the college or university the student goes to.”

The 2023 application deadline is March 1. Students may apply at

For more information, contact Clare Johnson at (334) 264-6223 or