A man described as a lifelong community servant with the highest integrity will be commemorated through two scholarships for local youth volunteers. In honor of the legacy of Elbert Shaw’s commitment to volunteer service and youth development, Shaw Industries is partnering with United Way of Northwest Georgia to offer two $5,000 scholarships for high school students. The Elbert Shaw Memorial Scholarship seeks to recognize young people who are active, empowered members of our community. The award recipients will be youth who work in cooperation with their peers and community leaders to create positive change in society, including identifying problems and implementing solutions. “This scholarship program is a testament to Elbert Shaw, a man that freely gave of his time and resources to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Vance Bell, CEO of Shaw Industries. “Elbert embodied honesty, integrity and a passionate caring for others in his volunteer pursuits. I believe that Elbert would be proud to recognize motivated youths that are driven to create a better future through volunteerism.” The scholarship(s) will be given out annually at the United Way Annual Meeting held every Spring. Students are only eligible to receive the award once in a lifetime. Amanda Burt, President of United Way of Northwest Georgia, confirms value in youth service, “When young people volunteer, they help to solve problems that face their communities like hunger, homelessness, a high drop-out rate, vandalism and many more. They also grow on a personal, social and intellectual level. Studies show that teens who reported having positive role models—particularly among their peers—were nearly twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not.” Becoming an active volunteer plays a pivotal role in character development. According to a Search Institute Study, young people who engage in two hours of service per week are half as likely to engage in high risk behavior such as fights, truancy, smoking, drinking and drug use. Just two hours of service a week bolsters resiliency, improves self-esteem, increases personal responsibility, and connects young people to others. Elbert Shaw was very passionate about helping troubled youth and creating paths to better opportunities. Elbert Shaw worked tirelessly to have a positive impact on our community’s youth. The Elbert Shaw Memorial Scholarship will honor his life by perpetuating his goals of youth development by sowing the seeds for future volunteers in Northwest Georgia.
The application package requests the following documents: - A photograph of the nominee (an action shot of you volunteering while looking at the camera).
- A letter from the applicant's school stating that they are a current Junior or Senior in high school and the grade point average of the student. Students must hold a current high school GPA of 3.00 or higher.
- If the student attends school outside of Whitfield or Murray Counties, but lives in one of the two counties, please submit proof of residency such as a copy of a driver license of the student.
-Two letters of recommendation from non-relatives, preferably from teachers and/or staff of an organization where the student volunteers.
- A letter of verification must be submitted from each non-profit, school, or government agency where the individual has served, stating the dates of service and the total number of hours. The applicant must have completed at least 150 hours of volunteer service in 2017.
- A completed volunteer log of 150 hours or more.