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CORDOVA -- Edisto High School graduate Kaitlyn Marie Williamson was chosen unanimously by the school's administrators and teachers to receive a college scholarship given by the Cordova Senior Community Center.

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The qualifications for the scholarship were based on academic achievements, community service and need.

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Williamson’s academic achievements include four years in the gifted and talented program, four years in the Gold Card Academic Achievement Club, four years on the Principal’s Honor Roll, three years in the National Honor Society, Certified Nursing Assistant (Completer), 2019 SKILLS USA competitor, 2018 HOSA – Future Health Professionals member, 2018 Palmetto Girls State alternate delegate and 2017-2018 SC Ready to Work – Gold Credential. She also had two years in the Book E-Club and three years playing varsity softball.

Williamson’s community service contributions include three years as an American Cancer Society Relay for Life participant, three years as a community nursing home student volunteer, two years participating in the Leukemia Society Pennies for Patients campaign, three years participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association Shamrock campaign, four years helping with the annual Thanksgiving food drive and community distribution, a year of participating in the March of Dimes campaign, four years in the Toys for Tots/Salvation Army Adopt-a-Family campaign and two years in the Orangeburg Kidney Walk.

The senior center’s Delores Burnett was the driving force behind fundraising efforts for the scholarship. The center held yard sales, and members donated money. Cindy Ricard is the center’s chair of the scholarship committee, assisted by committee members Robert and Dianne Branham and Sam and Beulah Jennings.

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In Williamson’s acceptance speech, she said that she will be attending Lander University in Greenwood to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She then plans to continue her education at MUSC, and then become a physician assistant.

“My career goal is to eventually work in an intensive care unit caring for patients who are critically ill or injured,” she said. “I feel my outgoing personality and positive attitude can assist in improving their state of mind, while my medical skills will help to mend their bodies and nurse them back to health.

“I will be the first in my family to go to college, and I am excited about this opportunity.”

Williamson and her two younger sisters live with their grandmother, of whom she said, “She has provided everything for us most of our lives. However, I understand the expenses related to a college education, and I know that my grandmother cannot afford this extra expense. I know it is my responsibility to pay for my education.”

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Williamson has already received her CNA certification through the Cope Area Career Center. She thanked everyone at the senior center for the scholarship and the assistance it will provide.

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