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File / The Outlook Benjamin Russell’s 188 Class of 2020 graduates collectively earned more than $5 million in scholarships.

Despite the issues and disappointments Benjamin Russell’s Class of 2020 faced, Seniors collectively earned a total of $5,520,986 in scholarships.

“Keeping in mind what is going on with COVID-19, the totals are down approximately $100,000 less than last year but overall it’s not much more,” BRHS counselor Richard Burton said. 

Seventy-one percent of BRHS seniors received one or more scholarships offers varying from two- and four-year colleges, athletic scholarship offers, local scholarships from area organizations and foundations and specific Central Alabama Community College scholarships for academic excellence, technical honors and ambassadors.

BRHS grads received scholarships from 42 colleges and universities and 31 from local organizations.

“They all did such a wonderful job gathering scholarships,” Burton said.

As per the average, 56% of the Class of 2020 will attend two-year colleges and 30% will attend four-year scholarships.

“A large percentage tend to go the two-year college route, especially with CACC being right here,” Burton said. “That’s a great feeder school. That’s on par with the percentages we typically see.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Class of 2020 couldn’t participate in the annual Senior Honors Day program. In lieu of that, the school created a slideshow sent out to students with their senior pictures, their accomplishments and what school they would be attending in the fall or if they were entering the military.

“I’m very, very proud of the students from the Class of 2020,” Burton said. “I just think it’s a testament to how well they work hard to achieve their goals. It shows how at the end of the day. The hard work pays off.

“Those students have worked, earned those scholarships, making the grades and taking the time to fill out applications, attach essays and resumes and taking the ACTs multiple times. It’s all factored in to reap the benefits.”

More Scholarship Information:

Top 12 colleges offering BRHS graduates the most scholarship money (listed in rank order)

1. Central Alabama Community College

2. University of Montevallo

3. Huntingdon College

4. University of Alabama at Birmingham

5. University of Mobile

6. University of South Alabama

7. University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa

8. Jacksonville State University

9. University of Mississippi

10. Savannah College of Art and Design

11. Alabama State University

12. Tuskegee University


Military Recognition

U.S. Air Force: Joshua Lee Jones

U.S. Army: Wilson Kyle Mattox

U.S. Navy: Timothy Lane Rigby


Alex City Chamber of Commerce Foundation Gateway to Education Scholarships: 49 


Students graduating with Honors

Cum Laude (GPA 3.8-3.89): Jake Malik Bishop, Matthew John Cush, Makenzie Blaire Davis, David Carlton Lewis, Abby Lee Macon, Kaylee Marie McDonald, Allen Holdan Moore

Magna Cum Laude (GPA 3.9-3.99): Lydia Kathleen Ballard, Christopher Neal Fenn, Samuel Wilson Morris, Gregory Cade Newman, Charlee Ann Peppers, Caroline Micahel Powell, Caroline Margaret Yearkey

Summa Cum Laude (GPA 4.00 or above): Briane Elizabeth Aust, Roxie Marie Baker, Camry Marie Benefield, Amiya Jeleiya Benson, Noah Mark Benton, Attie LeAnne Bishop, James, Andrew Caldwell, Kathryn Elizabeth Crutchfield, Kenneth Braxton Haas, Faith Nicole Hanna, Megan Elizabeth Harris, Cameron Reese Kelley, Ethan Michael Martin, Jon Luke Owens, Sarah Anne Rogers, Rachel Ansley Sanford, Erin Michelle Smith, Lauren Elizabeth Tidwell, Bailey Francis Underwood, Hailey Grace Wingard

Amy Passaretti is a staff writer with the Alexander City Outlook.