Selma Rotary awards scholarship

Published 8:15 pm Monday, April 15, 2019

Dallas County High School senior Preston McGee was awarded the 2019 Selma Rotary Club Scholarship on Monday. Prior to competing in the scholarship contest with students from six other Dallas County Schools, McGee was familiar with the Rotary Club, and its many community service projects.

“I started off with Rotary with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp,” McGee said. “It was a great camp, and was very service oriented.”
McGee said that was where his interest in Rotary began, adding that Selma Rotary Club President Jerria Martin encouraged him to participate in the scholarship contest.

“I told my counselor I wanted to do this,” McGee said. “I love the Rotary Club and I love what they do.”

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McGee reflected on one of the questions for the scholarship application that eventually led to his presentation to the club last week.

“One of the questions was ‘what do you want to do with your community and why do you deserve this?’” McGee said. “That was my main focus on how I could give back to the community with the scholarship. My pitch was that if I got the scholarship, it would help me go to college and become a better servant leader.”

McGee will attend the University of Alabama in the fall where he said he will major in political science before eventually practicing law.

Martin, who also participated in the Rotary Club scholarship program and received one in 2006, said this service project for the club she now leads has special meaning.

“Of all the Rotary initiatives and service projects, our scholarship competition is by far the most meaningful to me,” Martin said. “Back in 2006, I was one of seven seniors chosen to represent my school, Selma High School, in Rotary’s annual oratorical contest. Presenting before our city’s top businesspeople and civic leaders was both a humbling and empowering experience. My win not only provided much needed funds for books and other resources at Stillman, but it taught me the most important lesson I took with me to college, to put service above self. It is my prayer that each participant each year walks away having learned the same lesson. You can always tell that they do their research on Rotary prior to their speeches, as they mention the great work we do locally, nationally, and internationally. It’s important that our young people know that our Rotarians care and have been around for over 100 years making a difference in Selma. We will announce and award the winner of this year’s completion on this upcoming Monday during our regular meeting. I am thoroughly proud of each student participant, everyone did an outstanding job.”

Other student finalists were CaChasity Lewis, Alyssa Verhofe, Kyerra Crum, Mallory Mathews, Kaylee Bell and Gary Crum Jr.