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Walter Harrison Scholarship

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The Walter Harrison scholarship is named in honor of a leader in the state and national electric cooperative movements. The Harrison Trust awards several $1,000 scholarships statewide to high school seniors and undergraduate students of any age attending a vocational school or two-or-four year accredited college or university in the state of Georgia.

Since 1985, $236,500 in scholarships have been awarded to students. The scholarships are made possible in part by the continued fundraising success of the Walter Harrison Scholarship Auction, as well as memorial and honorarium donations.

Judges select winners for the Harrison Scholarship each year based on a combination of need, academic ability, extracurricular activities, involvement, autobiographical sketch and recommendations. Scholarship use must commence within one year of date of issuance and be totally utilized within two years of the date of issuance. The school shall return any unused funds to the scholarship fund.

2024 Walter Harrison Scholarship Recipient

Takara Aguilar


Jackson County High School student Takara Aguilar is a 2024 recipient of the Walter Harrison Scholarship awarded by electric cooperatives in Georgia, including Jackson EMC.

Earlier this year, Aguilar competed against 75 students from across Georgia for the scholarship, which provides $1,000 to help offset the costs associated with obtaining a college degree.

Statewide, 16 recipients were chosen based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities and their service to the community.

“The Walter Harrison Scholarship will help me graduate debt-free,” said Aguilar, who plans to attend the University of Georgia this fall to pursue a degree in biology as a pre-med student.

The scholarship is named in honor of Walter Harrison, a pioneer in the rural electricity movement and a leader at the local, Georgia and national levels in the electric cooperative program. It is funded by Georgia’s 41 electric cooperatives, including Jackson EMC, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Georgia Rural Electric Supply Corp. Since 1987, more than $280,000 has been awarded to approximately 300 students through the Walter Harrison Scholarship, created in 1985 by the board of directors of Georgia EMC.

Aguilar is the daughter of Briana and Nick Aguilar of Jefferson. While in high school, she participated in numerous organizations, such as HOSA, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Spanish Honor Society and Student Council.

Additionally, she’s an emergency medical technician and certified clinical medical assistant.

Applicants were required to submit a brief essay explaining why they would be good candidates to receive the scholarship and outlining their educational and career goals and any special circumstances for consideration. Students could use this opportunity to highlight community involvement or a desire to serve others. School performance, grade point average, scholastic honors, extracurricular activities, and financial need were all considered by the selection committee.

Application Process

Applications for 2024 are now closed.

Who Can Apply?

  • Applicants must be enrolled currently as an undergraduate in any two- or four-year accredited college, university or technical/vocational school in Georgia, either full-time or part-time; OR
  • Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to enroll in or who have been accepted to a Georgia college; AND
  • Applicants’ primary residence must be the household of a Jackson EMC member or employee. All Jackson EMC members and employees are eligible.
  • Previous winners are not eligible for a second scholarship.

How Can I Apply?

Applicants must complete and attach the following: (incomplete application packets will not be accepted):

  • Application.
  • Acceptance letter to a Georgia college, university or technical school; OR proof of current undergraduate enrollment in a Georgia college, university or technical school.
  • High school transcript or current college/technical school transcript (unless student graduated more than 10 years ago).
  • Optional: Most recent S.A.T. or A.C.T. test scores (please note whether the SAT is two-or three part test). If you didn’t take the S.A.T. or A.C.T., you may submit a ACCUPLACER score (provide proof).
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • A two-paged, typed, double-spaced (10 or 12-point font) autobiographical sketch, including references to community service and future plans and goals.

What is the Deadline to Apply?

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2024.

Completed materials may be mailed to: Jackson EMC Scholarships, P.O. Box 38, Jefferson, GA 30549

How is the Scholarship Awarded?

Scholarships are awarded based on academic ability, extracurricular activities, community service, financial need, autobiographical sketch and recommendations. The Jackson EMC Scholarship Committee will review each application in search of the applicant(s) who best represent the values of Jackson EMC.

Then, Jackson EMC forwards those applications to the WHS Executive Committee at Georgia EMC, who makes all final decisions.

Georgia Southern University administers the scholarship fund, which is awarded in the form of a grant program, with funds being paid to the college, university or vocational-tech school. Applications must be submitted yearly. The WHS Executive Committee announces winners annually, on or before April 15, and winners are notified of the results.

Scholarship winners must notify their EMC Scholarship Coordinator of their acceptance of the award, submit acceptance letter or other evidence to confirm admission (if student didn’t include final acceptance letter when application was submitted), and provide the name of the school they plan to attend by June 1, or they will forfeit any awarded scholarship. Scholarship use must commence within one year of date of issuance and be totally utilized within two years of the date of issuance. The school shall return any unused funds to the scholarship fund.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, applicants' primary address must be the household of a customer/member of Jackson EMC or a Jackson EMC employee. All Jackson EMC employees, who are also members, are eligible.

Students may submit an application each year; however, previous winners are not eligible for a second scholarship.

Yes, applicants may be part-time students, as long as they are enrolled in an accredited two-year or four-year college, university, or vocational/technical school.

Application packets should be mailed to: Jackson EMC Scholarships, P.O. Box 38, Jefferson, GA 30549

If an acceptance letter isn't available by the time the application packets are due, please note this on your application. If awarded a scholarship, the applicant must show proof of acceptance before grants are issued.

The Walter Harrison Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students enrolled in, or who plan to attend, a college, university or technical school in the state of Georgia.

The Walter Harrison Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students enrolled in, or who plan to attend, college, university or technical school in the state of Georgia.

Therefore, if you attend a college outside the state of Georgia, you will forfeit the scholarship.

The scholarship fund will provide $1,000 for each scholarship winner's educational expenses. The number of scholarships will depend on the fund earnings.

The scholarship fund is a grant program with funds paid directly to the college, university, or technical school you are attending.

Funds may be used for any educational expenses billed to the student by the college, such as tuition, books, school supplies, room & board, meal plans and mandatory fees.

Final decisions and/or extenuating circumstances are up to the discretion of Georgia EMC and its committee.

Scholarship use must commence within one year of date of issuance and be totally utilized within two years of the date of issuance. The school shall return any unused funds to the scholarship fund.

Final decisions and/or extenuating circumstances are up to the discretion of Georgia EMC and its education committee.

Winners will be announced on or before April 15 annually, and winners are notified of results.

If you receive a scholarship, it can be revoked totally or in part for a number of reasons. Some stipulations include:

  • Students should maintain the same level of academic performance as indicated when awarded the scholarship, such as GPA.
  • Students must remain in good standing with the college or may risk scholarship monies being denied.
  • Final decisions and/or extenuating circumstances are up to the discretion of Jackson EMC and its education committee.

Contact Karen D. Ewing, CMP at [email protected]