Dreams achieved through T.L. Deveridge Scholarship, awards

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tommy and Joyce Deveridge lost their son, Tomaras Lamon Deveridge, in an automobile accident in November 2001.

Tomaras would have received his master’s degree from Troy University in December of that year. He knew the value of an education and he was dedicated to helping other young people achieve their dreams through education.

“Tomaras enjoyed working with young people and he was a mentor for the Troy University basketball team,” Joyce Deveridge said. “We wanted to do something to honor Tomaras’ memory and something that would benefit young people in their quest for a higher education.”

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The Deveridges are members of Goshen First Baptist Church and the church membership supported the idea of annual memorial scholarships to qualified high school seniors.

“Tomaras was an all-around kid but school was his main priority,” Deveridge said. “He liked young people and he liked elderly people. So, the people of our church wanted to join us in helping young people financially with their educational goals.”

The Deveridges and their home church initiated the T.L Deveridge Scholarship program and invited Goshen High School seniors to apply.

The scholarships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and involvement in extra curricular activities. The winners are selected by school representatives and the scholarships are presented on Senior Class Day at GHS.

The recipients of the 2012 T.L Deveridge Scholarships are Janet Campbell and Alexia Daniels. Both are attending Troy University.

“Initially, we awarded two scholarships to Goshen High School seniors,” Deveridge said. “We got a lot of support, too, from the community so now we are able to give 12 leadership awards to high school seniors in the area who are well-rounded students. For these leadership awards, a church committee considers academics as well as participation in athletic, school and community activities and also church involvement.”

The applicants are encouraged to write a short letter about themselves.

“Some applicants have hardships within their families and we consider that when looking at the applications,” Deveridge said. “But leadership in school, community and church activities and events is always a top consideration.”

The recipients must be college bound.

The leadership awards will be presented this year to students from seven area high schools at a special recognition ceremony at Goshen First Baptist Church Saturday night.

Recipients of the T.L. Deveridge Leadership Awards and the college of their choice are Kandace Adams (Goshen High School), Troy University; Khadijah Dreonia Bell (Ariton High School) Troy University; Brittany Debose (Charles Henderson High School), Troy University; Carla Faulkner (Goshen High School), Troy University; Laquinte’ Demaughn Lee (Luverne High School), Troy University; Camera Moore (Selma High School) Wallace Community College; Chasidee Moultry (Pike County High School) Tuskegee University; Benjamin “Wil” Pittman (Goshen High School), Troy University; Jason Sankey (Highland Home High School), Troy University; Chasity Brittany Tillis (Brantley High School), Wallace Community College; Lerkeno Townsend (Charles Henderson High School), Troy University; and Allison Warrick (Goshen High School), Troy University.

Five members of the community will also be honored as 2012 Community Role Models. They are Henry Baugh, owner of Henry Baugh Enterprises, Brantley; Gwendolyn Darget, retired educator, Pike County Schools; Jerry Henderson, educator, advisor, consultant, Montgomery; Russell Thomas, Pike County sheriff, Troy; and Lamayn Wilson, professional basketball player, Troy.

Since 2003, 46 scholarships and leadership awards have been presented.

Deveridge said St. Mark Baptist Church of Glenwood and the Loyal Christian’s Club, a savings club of 14 people, have come on board and made it possible to present the growing number of leadership awards along with the two scholarships.

“We also sell ads in our souvenir book to support the scholarships and leadership awards,” Deveridge said. “We thank everyone who contributes to these efforts to further the education of our young people. Education does make a difference. These scholarships and awards are ways that Tomaras can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.”