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Fourteen South Georgia Technical College students receive automotive scholarship established in memory of Erica Scannavino – Americus Times-Recorder

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Fourteen South Georgia Technical College students receive automotive scholarship established in memory of Erica Scannavino

Published 1:54 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2024

By Su Ann Bird


Fourteen South Georgia Technical College students received the Erica Scannavino Scholarship for students enrolled in the Automotive Technology, Auto Collision and Repair Technology, and High-Performance Engines Motorsports programs.  This is the second time this scholarship has been awarded by the SGTC Foundation and a total of 32 students have been recognized this year so far.

Bud and Mary Scannavino of Kennesaw, GA, established the Erica Scannavino Skilled Trades Scholarship at South Georgia Technical College in memory of their daughter, Erica Scannavino.  The scholarship is open to students in the SGTC Automotive Technology, Auto Collision and Repair Technology and High-Performance Engines Motorsports programs.  To be eligible, students must have a 2.5 GPA, have a GED or high school diploma and completed at least 50% of their program.

The 14 students who qualified for the scholarship for summer semester included Automotive Technology students: Jaquavius Howard of Americus, Verniecia Johnson of Cordele, Uriah Scott of Conley, Seth Thomas of Leesburg, Jesus Morales Hernandez and Troyavian Smith of Montezuma, and Jalen Pasos of Columbus.  The Auto Collision and Repair students awarded the scholarship are: Jermonta Bell of Port Wentworth and David Battle, Jr. of Americus.  The High-Performance Engines Motorsports scholarship recipients included:  Adrian Barredo of Morrow, Karl Wiggins of Albany, Luke Hodgins of Cobb, Ethan Vazquez of Douglasville and Solomon Upshaw of Dallas, GA.

Each of the qualified students were eligible to receive $500 or more for educational expenses such as tuition, fees, and tools that were not covered by financial aid.  Most students opt for tools to help them as they begin their careers or continue working in their chosen fields.

Seven of the scholarship recipients are in their final semester or next to final semester. Jesus Morales Hernandez of Montezuma thanked the Scannavino family and shared his goals for the future.  “I would like to thank the Scannavino family for these tools.  I am just speechless that you have helped my dreams become closer to reality. I plan to take as much knowledge from this program and future jobs so I can eventually open my own shop.”

Luke Hodgins of Cobb is in the motorsports program and he is a second generation SGTC student.  “My dad came to South Georgia Tech to become an Aircraft Mechanic.  I selected the Motorsports program because I wanted to learn how to rebuild engines.  These tools will help me further my career.”

David Battle, Jr. of Americus completed the Automotive Technology program and is now working to complete the Auto Collision program at SGTC to be a more well-rounded mechanic.  “My biggest goal is to open up my own shop.  These tools will help me to reach that goal.”

Verniecia Johnson is one of the first-time scholarship recipients.  She came to SGTC to accomplish her goal of becoming an Automotive Technology Technician.  “I plan to own my own shop and help others in need of cars being fixed.  As an Auto Tech, I will be able to take care of my family and keep others happy by helping them with dependable transportation.  I will be graduating soon and these tools are helping me move ahead and start my career.”

Karl Wiggins, III of Albany is enrolled in the Motorsports program.  This was his first time receiving the tool scholarship but he has big plans and this program is helping him move forward.  “First, I want to graduate, because if I don’t the other goals will not mean a thing.  Second, I will move back home to work at a dealership and get my A & E certification.  Then I plan to get a Commercial Driver’s License and open my own shop.”

Erica Scannavino of Kennesaw passed away on July 29, 2017.  She was survived by her parents, Bud and Mary Scannavino of Kennesaw along with several cousins.  She touched many lives with her vigorous volunteer efforts and this scholarship helps continue her legacy.

Erica was a history major at Kennesaw State University.  She was a lifetime Girl Scout and Silver Award recipient, as well as a member of the Trefoil Guild.  She was a foster parent for Dream Dachshund Rescue and volunteered at the Root House in downtown Marietta.  For many years she worked crocheting blankets for the Linus Project.  She is sorely missed, but the good she did, continues to live on in the hearts of every life she touched.

The Scannavino’s wanted to honor their daughter’s memory by continuing to give back to others.  Bud Scannavino learned the trade of automotive mechanics after high school.  He achieved the rank of Certified Master Automotive Technician, earning the A.S.E. advanced credentials with L-1.  As an entrepreneur, Bud, owned a repair shop.  His daughter was fascinated by his first career and very proud of her father’s work ethic and skills.  Bud eventually changed careers, earned an MBA from Yale and worked in financial services.

“On behalf of South Georgia Technical College and the South Georgia Technical College Foundation, I would like to thank Bud and Mary Scannavino for their generosity to our students and these valuable skills trades programs” said SGTC President Dr. John Watford.  “Their willingness to partner with our college and foundation serves two very important purposes.  First, they have the opportunity to honor their daughter and then, they have the opportunity to help other students pursue their dreams of getting a great education in a career field that is in demand by business and industry partners and our communities.”

“This scholarship is a wonderful way for the Scannavino family to honor their daughter’s memory,” said South Georgia Technical College Vice President of Institutional Advancement and SGTC Foundation executive director Su Ann Bird.  “We are honored that Bud and Mary wanted to provide additional assistance to deserving young people seeking an education at South Georgia Technical College.  We are saddened by their loss, but they have chosen to honor the memory of their daughter by helping other young adults realize their dreams.  That speaks volumes about the Scanavino’s and their family.”

Individuals who would like to support scholarships in memory or in honor of loved ones, may contribute to the South Georgia Technical College Foundation, P.O. Box 6102, Americus, GA. For more information about this or other scholarship opportunities, contact SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird at 229-931-2110 or [email protected].





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