Author: Attorney Melinda H. South
Recently on a beautiful spring evening at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, 15 incredible high school seniors were recognized by The Allen Law Firm with George E. Allen Scholarships to the school of their choice. I had the privilege of serving on the Selection Committee this year and it is no small task to select just 15. There were nearly 500 applications for these scholarships and we have great people who review each application to determine if they qualify. The Committee reviewed the applications prior to a meeting to select the most deserving. Then the Committee, which is made up of attorneys and staff in our Firm, met for several hours to discuss who the fifteen recipients should be. The scholarships are not awarded to the most academically or athletically successful applicants, but to those students who have overcome difficult challenges to achieve the level of success they have in academics, athletics, extracurricular, community service, and other activities. Every year the quality of the applicants makes the Committee members wish there was more money to award.
These young people have been through more in their short lives than many people go through in their entire lifetime. It is amazing how resilient and motivated these people are. Many times the news we hear about the next generation is not good but after seeing these high school seniors, I am convinced the future is in good hands.
The Award and Recognition ceremony began with Firm partner R. Clayton Allen describing the scholarship’s namesake and Firm’s founder George E. Allen, who was his grandfather. Clayton explained the struggles George Allen overcame to receive his education and go on to a successful career in law and public service. As our president Douglas A. Barry stated at the dinner, we are honored to have these deserving recipients come and spend an evening with us. When he described the activities these teenagers are participating in, particularly the community service, it is incredible how involved they are. Many of our recipients are involved despite limitations that would hinder many from participating yet these same limitations seem to motivate these teenagers to be more committed to their community. They are truly inspirational. Congratulations to the 2011 George E. Allen Scholarship recipients. We wish you the best in the future, and know that you all will continue to do well.