2020 winners of the Harris Funeral Home Memorial Scholarship


Contributed by Harris Funeral Home

As Harris Funeral Home celebrates 29 years of providing personal and professional funeral service during a family’s time of need, we continue to salute and assist outstanding students as they maintain their highest standards of conduct and academics.

It has been 20 years since Jeffery Harris decided that giving back to the community is as important as serving during a time of hurt and healing, thus the Harris Funeral Home Memorial Scholarship was established.

“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have” is the philosophy that has made the Harris Funeral Home Memorial Scholarship an annual event. This scholarship program strives to recognize high school seniors in area schools. It is based upon academic and scholastic achievement, work experience, community service and personal goals that are expressed in an essay response.

The Harris Funeral Home Memorial Scholarship is intended to help students reach their educational goals. Each recipient is awarded a scholarship in the amount of $500 and it can be applied toward any educational-related cost.

Final selections were made by the Harris Funeral Home Scholarship Committee, where Cornelia V. Johnson serves as scholarship coordinator. Other members of the committee are Teresa Smith of Dothan and Harriet Billups of Auburn.

To date over $58,000 has been awarded to different area students.

This year’s four recipients of the scholarships are:

Miles A. Tolbert is a 2020 graduate of Auburn High School. He is the son of Prentice and Sharon Tolbert. Miles has become a part of the Alabama A&M University Family Bulldogs. At A&M he is majoring in Forestry with a possible career as a wildlife ecologist/biologist.

Miles was very active with extra-curricular activities while he was in high school, including agricultural projects, which helped prepare him as he pursues a degree in Forestry at A&M.

He feels to foster unity, we all need to stop being judgmental and accept our differences because we all have faults. He sees himself as someone who is intelligent, inquisitive and positive, qualities he uses as he strives to always learn more and do more for others. A failure in life has taught him to never give up — when you get knocked down you get back up, keep fighting and keep trying. Being accepted at Alabama A&M is one of his proudest achievements. His friends see him as someone who is positive and self-motivated, someone who is willing to work hard to achieve his life’s goals.

He feels having a successful career with the USDA is a way to educate his community and himself as we confront the challenges in understanding the importance of how to take care of our environment. With the Bible as his favorite book, Miles understands humility and how seeking the Lord in all you do and thanking Him for all we have, is the best way to live each day.

Cory LaGrand  Askew Jr. is a 2020 graduate of Beauregard High School. He is the son of Tasha Fuller and Cory Askew Sr. He is presently attending Tennessee State University, where his major is Business Management, with a future goal of a career in retail.

Corey loved track and basketball in high school where he learned a valuable life lesson. Losing one game by a few points, then winning the next by a much larger number, taught him the importance of patience. You sometimes have to just wait and things will work out.

He sees himself as someone who is creative, optimistic and outgoing. He believes that unity can come about when we take the time to see who deserves the achievements so that no one will go unrecognized.

Corey was an outstanding athlete in high school. His great performance didn’t go unrecognized and it was demonstrated by him being named “player of the year.”

His friends see him as someone who plays a positive role in their lives. He often tries and make them laugh in different situations because he believes that laughter is so important as we go through life. His goal is to be the owner of his own buy, sell, trade store.

He wants to use his education to help people in similar situations as his, “to know that whatever you want to do in life, it is possible.”

LaDerrial Alexis Thomas is a 2020 graduate of Loachapoka High School. LaDerrial is the daughter of Kimberly F. Thomas. She is presently studying at Chattahoochee Valley Community College, where she is majoring in Graphic Design. LaDerrial aspires to become a film or video editor.

She was very active in high school and in her community. As a volunteer with the Lee

County Sheriff’s Office, she worked to help at-risk youth as they participated with different activities at camp.

As a citizen, LaDerrial feels we should be able to sit down and discuss any topic without being judged by our personal beliefs or values. She sees herself as someone who is determined, caring and open.

While working on a school project she learned a very good life lesson: that no matter how much one prepares, things can still go wrong and not work out as planned.

Setting a personal goal to graduate at the top of her class was a wonderful accomplishment that she was extremely proud of. Her friends admire her for being so supportive and someone they can confide in.

With her goal as a video editor, she plans to help other young women see that they can be whatever they want to be no matter where you come from, as long as you work hard and keep focusing on your goal.

Believing that God will never put more on you than you can bear gives her the strength and courage to face whatever life brings.

Terrain V. Battle is a 2020 graduate of Opelika High School. Terrain is the son of Cameia and Terence Battle.

He is a student at University of Alabama majoring in Marketing. He would like to use that degree to have a career as a market manager.

Even though we all may have different beliefs, Terrain thinks if we stop judging each other based on what one believes, we would be able to get along.

He describes himself as someone who is creative, intelligent and optimistic. These qualities help him as he participates in community projects and he believes these are the same qualities that will help him as he pursues his life’s goals. A failure in life taught him that you just have to keep working and working. Even when you think you have worked hard enough, you have to sometimes just keep going and things will work out.

Becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 18 has been one of his greatest accomplishments. His friends say they like that he is kind and easy going. His philosophy of life is, “if you remain humble, things will come your way.”

He looks forward to getting an opportunity to work with a major company and shape their marketing strategy, which will help maximize his success in the company. A marketing career and starting a family are things that Terrain believe will help him live life to its fullest.

On behalf of Jeffery Harris and Harris Funeral Home we would like to congratulate this year’s recipients and look forward to the next year’s applicants. For more information concerning the Scholarship Program, contact Cornelia Johnson at 334-749-6583 or email hmh515@harrisfuneralopelika.com.

Turn to B7 for photos of the scholarship recipients.


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