LHS Class Of 1996 Establishes Scholarship

LATTA— Like all other 1996 high school graduates, the Latta High School (LHS) Class of 1996 should be holding their 25th Class Reunion this spring, but the ongoing pandemic had some classmates rethinking those plans in early 2021. Large group gatherings would take months to plan and without knowing what restrictions or guidance could be in place for a 2021 event, the feasibility of a large-scale class reunion came into question. A new idea surfaced and was pitched to the class via the class Facebook account: To create and award a scholarship to commemorate the milestone whether or not a reunion could be held.
Natalie McLellan, a 1996 LHS graduate who no longer lives in South Carolina, was excited about the opportunity. “As a graduate of Latta High School, I feel it is important to foster the next generation of LHS graduates,” said McLellan. “We are tasked to inspire, encourage and support this next generation into their future endeavors.”
Her sentiment was echoed by many classmates who were equally as enthusiastic about this creative idea. But there was much to be done in order to meet a June graduation deadline: the school needed to be contacted, committees formed, application drafted, accounts created, classmates reached and money raised but the scholarship needed a name and a mission to rally behind. Classmates quickly pointed to the class song “The Journey” written in 1996 by Greg Williams, an LHS English teacher and class favorite. Mr. Williams gifted the song to the class and the senior chorus performed it during senior night all those years ago. Moving lines such as “The years have passed before my eyes but a journey still before me lies” and “Courage now must light my path, the winds beside me blow with wrath” resonate with classmates as much today as they did 25 years ago. The endeavor quickly became known as the Class of 1996 Journey Scholarship and within weeks, the idea had materialized into a fundraising drive.
Journeys should certainly be celebrated. The individual journeys of the Class of the 1996 have been as diverse as the class itself. The class of about 80 graduates is comprised of military personnel and veterans, medical professionals, educators, machine operators, researchers, engineers, salespeople, business owners and business administrators, first responders, police officers, front-line workers, chemists, farmers, coaches, caregivers, parents and even more in between. The individual journeys are as compelling as the destinations themselves. The class now wishes to support another Viking on their journey beyond “these sacred walls”.
Classmates have generously donated to the class scholarship fund both in celebration of their fellow classmates and in memory of the ones lost too soon. An ambitious goal of $1996 was set by the class and final scholarship award amount(s) will be determined by the finance and selection committees, depending on the amount raised. Anyone wishing to honor, celebrate or remember an LHS Class of 1996 member can contribute though May 14, 2021 at Anderson Brothers Bank in Latta or contact Journey Scholarship Finance Chair, Caroline Brigman Mishoe, at lhs1996scholarfund@gmail.com.
The scholarship application can be found on the LHS Scholarship website and is limited to LHS seniors with a minimum GPA, among other criteria. The application deadline of April 30, 2021 is fast approaching. Go Vikings!

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