Taylor County student is first to receive Joe A. Akerman Jr. Scholarship at NFC

NFC Foundation Contributor, Annabelle Scott

Taylor County resident Elijah Calhoun is the first recipient of the Joe A. Akerman Jr. Scholarship at North Florida College. The Akerman family recently established the scholarship in memory of their beloved husband, father and grandfather who taught history and English at the College for over 40 years. The award is already making a difference in Elijah’s life and helping him reach his dreams of becoming a teacher, a passion he shares with the scholarship’s namesake.

Elijah is currently earning his Associate in Arts degree at NFC before transferring to a university. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. “I am currently on track for a degree to set me up for education,” he said. But to Elijah, it is more than just a degree, “I am very passionate about teaching, as my goal has always been to help as many people as possible. As a teacher, you can be so much more, you can be a role model or even a friend, and I intend to be all the above. An impact like that is never forgotten.”

In addition to being a part-time college student, Elijah works full-time as a teachers’ aide in a special needs Pre-K classroom. He enjoys making sure that the they receive proper care and training saying, “It is such a blessing to be able to work with these kids.” Elijah also notes that he has special compassion for students who may have difficult home lives.

Like many students, Elijah realized that he may need some financial assistance to complete his degree. Before the school year began, an Academic Advisor told him about the scholarship opportunities at the NFC Foundation. “Lately I have been in a hard place, and while I am recovering financially, I applied because I realized I truly needed help. I'm honored and grateful to have received the scholarship!” said Elijah.

When Elijah received the news that he would receive the Joe A. Akerman Jr. Scholarship, he smiled the whole day. “I truly can’t thank the scholarship donors enough. Things like this go a long way, so long that I will never forget it,” he said.

Traci McClung, Director of Resource Development at NFC, encourages other students to follow Elijah’s example and take advantage of the opportunities for assistance at the college. “With the generous support of donors like the Akerman family, local students are receiving the financial help they need to chase their dreams,” said McClung.

Your dreams are in reach! Apply online for a Spring Term scholarship by November 11 and start making your dreams a reality. To apply online, please visit www.nfc.edu/foundation-giving/scholarships or contact the NFC Foundation at Foundation@nfc.edu.