P.S. Jones student wins newVictor E. Bell Jr. Scholarship

Published 4:05 pm Friday, December 7, 2007

By Staff
Could receive up to $20,000 for college
Staff Writer
Brantley Sutton, 12, received a birthday and Christmas present early this year. Nine days before his 13th birthday, he and his parents were told he had won an up-to $20,000 college scholarship. Sutton, one of only 10 recipients in the state, is a seventh-grade student at P.S. Jones Middle School.
College Foundation, Inc. announced the first 10 winners of the new Victor E. Bell Jr. Scholarship earlier this week. The scholarship is named in honor of the former chairman of the CFI Board of Trustees who served for 30 years.
Sutton said he hopes to attend North Carolina State University and will put the money toward his tuition there.
Sutton said he hopes that other students will recognize, through his achievement, that there are ways for everyone to go to college.
Asked if he had any advice for other students his age, he said “do well in school and stay out of trouble.”
Chynna Bonner, Beaufort County Schools’ GEAR UP coordinator, said the school’s seventh-grade teachers were asked to nominate two students for the award. It was because Sutton did stand out, that Bonner decided to forward his name to CFI, she said.
Individual awards are $2,000 per year, from middle school through the fourth year of college, up to a maximum total of $20,000 per recipient. Brantley will have to meet academic criteria to renew the scholarship each year.
In ninth grade, Sutton will have to maintain a grade point average of 2.25, which Bonner and Sutton agreed would be “no problem.”
If all criteria are met each year, the scholarship will accrue until Sutton graduates from high school. Awards are contributed to an account in the North Carolina 529 plan with the individual recipient named as the beneficiary.
Nominations are by invitation only to middle school counselors and principals, as well as selected college readiness/access groups across the state. CFI held a random drawing to choose six recipients from nominations submitted by counselors and principals, with a selection made from each of six regions as defined by telephone area code.
College Foundation, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation helping North Carolina students gain access to higher education since 1955.