Friday wins nationwide scholarship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Preparing yourself for the future is something that James &uot;Trent&uot; Friday began doing some time ago.

And that preparation has paid off big time.

Friday was one of seven students, from a national pool of 100, named as a recipient of the Samsung American Legion National Scholars to receive $20,000 in scholarship money for undergraduate studies.

Shock momentarily left him speechless Tuesday afternoon after learning of the good news while in school at John T. Morgan Academy. Once everything set in, Friday snapped back into being what the school’s headmaster, Dr. Christopher de Bunza, describes as &uot;hardworking and reliable,&uot; to say the least.

The 17-year-old Friday expressed how he felt in one word, &uot;Excitement.&uot;

His parents, Jimmy and Sheri Friday, are just as enthusiastic about it as he is.

James Smith, second vice commander for American Legion Post No. 20 in Selma, said, &uot;We’re very proud of James. He’s a fine young man.&uot;

The next step for Friday is to choose which of the two schools, the University of Montevallo or the University of Southern Mississippi, he would like to claim as his alma mater. His life-long dream of becoming a doctor is now a big step closer to becoming a reality.

Friday has played an active role in numerous organizations during his six years at Morgan.

Currently, he stands as the parliamentarian of the Student Government Association, the president of the Interact club, a member of the track team, the Beta Club, the National Honors Society, the French Club; and former president of the Agribusiness Club and former treasurer of the Science Club. He also participates in church and community activities.

High school juniors who attend and complete an American Legion Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program and are direct descendants of wartime veterans are eligible.

Friday’s participation in Boys State was sponsored by the members of American Legion Post No. 20.

Awards are based, in part, on academic performance, financial need and school and community involvement.

A detailed application about the students, their academic achievements and personal information are scored by Legion officials that determine who the scholarship recipients will be.

American Legion scholarships are derived from earnings on a $5 million Samsung endowment.

The electronics firm collaborated with The American Legion in 1995 to offer scholarships to direct descendants of honorably discharged wartime veterans in recognition of the sacrifices of American servicemen and women during the Korean War