Exceptional students recognized at Achiever Awards

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

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On May 2, Butler County celebrated its Achiever Award Scholarship ceremony at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the Lurleen B. Wallace Greenville campus, honoring 20 remarkable student-athletes. Among them, Alli Butts from Fort Dale Academy and Jayden McMillian from McKenzie School stood out as they were awarded the $3,500 scholarship.

The Achiever Award Scholarship aims to recognize and support the academic and athletic achievements of Butler County’s graduating seniors. The funds raised through sponsorships provide financial assistance to the winners as they embark on their college journeys.

The event is sponsored annually by the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce and commenced with Pastor John Girdley of First Baptist Church leading attendees in an opening prayer. 

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“This is my second year attending the Achiever Awards,” Girdley remarked. “The great leadership of our city, chamber and schools was definitely on display.”

More than 175 guests gathered to recognize each nominee before the scholarship recipients were announced. The banquet, catered by Uncle E’s BBQ, featured a meal of glazed smoked chicken breast, wild rice and a vegetable medley. 

Last year’s Achiever Award Scholarship winners, Maire Scott and Clay Benson, were also present at the ceremony. They shared insights from their experiences in their first year of college, highlighting the impact of the scholarship on their academic and personal growth.

The highlight of the evening was the heartfelt acceptance speech by Alli Butts, who expressed gratitude to her family, teachers, coaches and the chamber for their unwavering support. 

“My school has just really provided me with so many opportunities in my life and it’s helped me to stand in front of you today,” Butts said.  “And lastly, to the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, I just want to thank you for putting on this awesome program to represent, like they said, the top 10% of graduating seniors in Butler County.”

Jayden McMillian from McKenzie School, the second scholarship recipient, was unable to attend the ceremony due to a prior commitment. However, his award was graciously accepted by his father, Loomas McMillian. Jayden’s dedication and achievements were acknowledged, and his father expressed pride in his son’s accomplishments.