Kennedy Randall knows a thing or two about hard work. A 2021 graduate of Northeast High School in Macon, where she was ranked number one in her class, Kennedy was the first in her family to go to college.
Kennedy’s work ethic, combined with her ability to overcome life’s obstacles, is what made her a natural choice to be named the Dr. Curtis Jones Leadership Scholarship recipient last year.
The scholarship was created by the Macon-Bibb community to honor Dr. Curtis Jones, who served as the Superintendent of the Bibb County School District. In 2019, Dr. Jones was named as National Superintendent of the Year. The community established the scholarship in his honor at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia that year to celebrate him and his impact on young people in Macon-Bibb County.
The annual scholarship award goes to a graduating senior from a Bibb County public high school who exemplifies Dr. Jones’s guiding principles of leadership, scholarship and citizenship. To receive this award, a student must first be nominated by their high school principal, then apply for the scholarship, and then be selected by the committee.
Kennedy knows that receiving this scholarship is creating opportunities she wouldn’t have had without it.
“Being nominated for the award helped me believe in myself and know that I was capable of doing this,” explains Kennedy. “Scholarships help students acclimate to college without feeling alienated. I’m able to attend school with my fellow classmates without it being pointed out that I come from a different background.”
Having just completed her Freshman year at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, Kennedy is an astronomy major, and she knows her future involves something related to understanding more about space.
Outside of her studies, Kennedy has stepped into a summer internship with the Chester Children’s Chorus, a year-round music program that provides music and math education to local children near Swarthmore. She is also involved in dance, volunteering, and even recently started taking judo classes.
“I think it’s interesting how much more I’m able to do because I was given this scholarship,” elaborates Kennedy. “It’s allowed me to explore interests and have a more diverse life, which I wouldn’t have had without knowing my schooling was funded. I’m busy, but I’m thankful to be busy because of this opportunity.”
While she may only have a year of college under her belt, Kennedy is reaching for the stars. She knows her future is bright, in part because of the Dr. Curtis Jones Leadership Scholarship.
“It’s a domino effect,” states Kennedy. “The Dr. Curtis Jones Leadership Scholarship opened new opportunities for me to develop as a person.”
This life-changing opportunity was provided to Kennedy and future students like her because a community wanted to honor an educator and leader who believed that students are the future. Because of their investment in the scholarship through CFCG, not only will Dr. Jones have impacted thousands of students throughout his tenure in education, but his impact will be felt for generations, even after his retirement this May.