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BTCPA to award two scholarships

When it comes to attending college, the cost can add up fast. For two students, the Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts wants to help carry a little bit of that burden with a $500 scholarship.

The BTCPA, based in Red Bay, has announced two $500 scholarships to given this spring. Scotty Kennedy said this is the third year the local performing arts council has offered these scholarships.

“We see such a need for financial assistance today for students in high school and college, especially for those in the arts, which tend to be the least-funded activities in schools and colleges,” said Kennedy. “If a student is interested in pursuing studies and/or being in the arts in college, many institutions of higher learning offer scholarships as well and tend to favor those with past experience in the arts.”

The two BTCPA scholarships are available to students from any school and in any major, high school seniors as well as college freshmen, sophomore, juniors and seniors, with preference given to students with prior involvement with the Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts – like previous recipient Chase Allen, who is putting his scholarship to use at Itawamba Community College. Allen said receiving a BTCPA scholarship was the icing on the cake of his participation in the BTCPA.

“It’s incredible. I couldn’t thank them enough,” said Allen. The 2019 Red Bay alum plans to continue his education at Mississippi State next year after ICC, majoring in aerospace engineering.

Another 2019 recipient was Abbey Jones, who is now pursuing a degree for speech pathology at Samford University in Birmingham.

“College is expensive, and having a monetary gift form the BTCPA was really kind of them, and I was so grateful,” said Jones, who is also a Red Bay alum. “I just have so much gratitude in my heart for the BTPCA as a whole.”

Jones, who was involved in the BTCPA through junior high and high school – including her favorite production, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” – said receiving the scholarship was a welcome surprise. “I love the community and the people there,” Jones said. “I was so thankful to receive the scholarship, especially from people I love and care about.”

Now that she is a member of the BTCPA board herself, Jones said she is looking forward to being a part of continuing the BTCPA’s legacy of generosity and helping make college possible for the generation of scholarship recipients.

Applications are available through Kennedy by calling 256-356-8758 or emailing or by picking one up at Scotty Kennedy Photography. Kennedy said the application includes questions about the students grades, extracurricular activities and financial need.

The deadline to apply is May 20.