Bikefest dollars help scholars

Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three years ago, Bikefest board members decided to expand their charitable donations to include establishment of a scholarship fund that would award a $500 scholarship to a worthy student to further his or her education beyond high school.

First-year recipient was Brooke Inlow, daughter of Terry and Debbie Inlow of Bainbridge. She was followed by Kayla Cox, daughter of Derrick Cox.

Last year the recipient was Ashley Wimberly, daughter of Margaret and Randy Wimberly.

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All three girls are presently enrolled in college.

Brooke Inlow

Brooke Inlow is in her junior year at Valdosta State University pursuing a degree in exercise physiology. Her future plans are to continue post-graduate work at Emory University to become either a physical therapist or occupational therapist.

Inlow swam competitively all through her high school years and was a cheerleader her first year at Valdosta.

Community service is the major criterion for awarding the Bikefest scholarship. Inlow said during high school she was an officer of the Anchor Club, an affiliate of the Pilot Club and secretary of the Honor Society.

Through those organizations she was involved in various projects. She collected food for food drives, delivered meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas, helped decorate nursing home doors and was always a participant in Relay for Life.

“Giving to others helped me appreciate what I have, and seeing how appreciative people were to receive our gifts gave me a good feeling inside,” Inlow said.

Her only involvement with Bikefest was in 2003 when she was Young Junior Miss Bainbridge and went with other pageant winners to hand out refreshments at Bikefest.

Kayla Cox

Kayla Cox, daughter of Derrick and Amy Cox, is a second-year student at Georgia Tech, majoring in management.

Her immediate goal is to obtain an internship with the Atlanta Braves. She believes that would really help prepare her for the career she wants in sports management.

During her high school years, Kayla was very active in community services. She was a member of Anchor Club, involved with the Shoebox Operation at Christmas and Decatur County Secret Santa. She was very active in the youth group at Fellowship Baptist Church, where she volunteered for mission trips and taught vacation Bible school.

Kayla feels she was influenced by her mom and dad, who encouraged her to volunteer. She said her father does a lot of things for people out of the kindness of his heart and she has grown up with that.

“I guess it rubbed off on me,” she said.

She believes her community activities helped her get into Tech. She said colleges look at more than academic achievement. They want students who are going to make contributions to the school through service projects.

Ashley Wimberly

Ashley Wimberly is beginning her first college semester at Bainbridge College, where she is majoring in early childhood development. She is the daughter of Randy and Margaret Wimberly.

Originally Ashley had thought she wanted to go into the health care field. She actually acquired her CNA certificate while a senior at Bainbridge High School. That has come in very handy looking after her father, who has a physical disability, and her grandmother.

But, after taking a course in early childhood, Ashley changed her career focus.

During her high school years she volunteered at Wiregrass Hospice, took cards to patients and helped with other activities, such as playing Bingo with patients.

She was a member of the Interact Club, National Honor Society, CATS for Youth, the Super Bowl for Caring, SADD, Art Club and helped with Red Ribbon Week.

Ashley feels it is very important for youth to become involved in community service projects.

“It helps make you a better person. You feel proud for helping people out,” she said.

Ashley will be attending Bainbridge College part-time this first semester and is looking for part-time work in the health field to help fund her education.

Ashley’s ultimate goal is to transfer to Valdosta State for her bachelor’s degree, then find a good job teaching elementary school.