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BFA students learn lessons in giving

In addition to taking college classes, working in the school-based branch of First National Bank and completing a summer internship between their junior and senior years, the students enrolled in the Business Finance Academy at Pike County High School, also must complete 60 hours of community service.

Pike County High School Assistant Principal Shondra Whitaker said during the Christmas season, Jon Sonmor, academy director, worked with the Pike County Salvation Army to make plans for the academy students to ring the bell for the Red Kettle in Brundidge and Troy. He also worked with Kelly Sanders, coordinator of the Turkeys from Heaven program in Troy, to provide desserts for 50 of the meals the program delivered.

“Thanks to a grant from Thrivent, Mr. Sonmor was able to purchase the ingredients to make 50 pumpkin pies for the meals,” Whitaker said. “This was the third year the academy students have met during the Christmas break to bake pies for Turkeys from Heaven. Each year the students have increased the number of pies baked. Next year’s goal is 75.”

In addition to Whitaker and several teachers, Sara Wilson, the lunchroom manager, takes the lead in the kitchen.

“It really becomes a school-wide effort,” Whitaker said.

Sonmor has also coordinated with the Pike County Elementary School and the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library for academy students to meet and tutor elementary students in the afternoon at the library.

“All of these activities are excellent opportunities for our students to learn lessons in giving, sacrifice and service, all of which are so important to young leaders,” Whitaker said. “Thanks to the Pike County Board of Education and Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent, many children in Pike County are afforded the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree along with these valuable life experiences and all while in high school.”