The Elks Lodge 691 of Brunswick recently awarded two College of Coastal Georgia students with the annual Emory Dawson Scholarship.
Sierra Bryant and Julia Cieszeski became the 39th and 40th students to receive the $1,500 scholarship, which is awarded every academic year.
The scholarship recognizes students with disabilities who have demonstrated strong academic performance.
“This is part of our Elks slogan, ‘Elks care and elks share,’” said Bob Carlisle, the Elks Lodge chaplain, in a press release. “We are honored and privileged to participate in this presentation and award this scholarship to deserving students.”
Bryant, a sophomore, is studying nursing and working toward an Associate of Science in Nursing. She plans to continue her education and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, then eventually a master’s degree.
Bryant dreams of working in the field of labor and delivery, and she’s interested in exploring travel nursing.
Cieszeski, a freshman, is majoring in early childhood/special education. She plans to become a second grade teacher with a focus on special education. She currently works as a student assistant in the Office of Service-Learning.
The scholarship is named in honor of Emory Dawson, who was a student at Brunswick Junior College before it became College of Coastal Georgia.
Dawson graduated from Glynn Academy in 1967 and enlisted in the Marine Corp the following year. He served in Vietnam with the 3rd Marine Division and was wounded in action. He received the Purple Heart and returned home as a quadriplegic.
He then enrolled at Brunswick Junior College, where he served as student council president. He was involved in many community organizations, such as the Disabled American Veterans, Elks Lodge, Veterans of Foreign Wars 2558 and his church.
“When you hear of all his work and investment in the community and organizations, I wish I had known him,” said Michelle Johnston, president of Coastal Georgia. “Hopefully, one of the most enduring things associated with him and what he did is this scholarship award.”
Carlisle said Dawson was a strong voice in the community for those who are disabled.
In 1997, after Dawson’s passing, the Elks Lodge decided to create a scholarship for Coastal Georgia students in his honor.