The Golden Isles College and Career Academy honored students, staff and supporters Friday at its annual end-of-the-year scholarship luncheon.
Thirteen GICCA students received college scholarships at the event, and a few earned additional recognitions.
The Career Academy was founded 10 years ago and named the 2018 College and Career Academy of the Year. St. Simons Island Republican state Rep. Jeff Jones read a resolution during the ceremony that he wrote during the recent legislative session honoring GICCA for winning the title.
The Career Academy awarded $6,000 in scholarships in 2018 and has given more than $40,000 in scholarships in the last six years, Jones said.
Rick Townsend, CEO at GICCA, said the school’s success would not be possible without the support of the community.
“Tony (Thaw), the Chamber of Commerce and that group, the whole business community in this room led the charge and said ‘Let’s do this,’” Townsend said. “The school system got onboard … They supported the Career Academy.”
Dave Snyder, owner of Halyards Restaurant Group, spoke at the luncheon and encouraged the community to continue pushing GICCA on to further success.
First, though, he checked to make sure everyone had enjoyed the low country boil lunch.
Improvement comes from constantly challenges those around you to do better, Snyder said.
“That’s what I would challenge you to do — how can you challenge your friends, your coworkers, your county representatives to help schools like this?” Snyder asked. “… We’re all in this mess of life together, y’all.”
GICCA was founded based on community support, and Snyder said that same support is needed to keep the school going.
“We’re a small community — that’s what I love about living here,” he said. “We do all these things together. So we really have to help each other.”
GICCA teaches work ethic and soft skills that are crucial for a strong future workforce, he said.
“It’s going to take places like this and people like y’all to take time out of your day and money out of your wallet to help out,” Snyder said.
The senior GICCA students who received scholarship at the ceremony included Harrison Faulk, Anja Bailey, Evangelique Ward, Matthew Tortorell, Evan Young, Ja’Sharia Griffin, Ryan Harris, Macy Helms, Sydney Hoyt, Camryn Jones, Grayton Eckerd, Eliza Price and Lindy Rose.