High school graduation is an exciting time for any senior, but for 18-year-old Kayla Blakeney, the big day had an extra sparkle. Four days prior, on awards night, the Caledonia High School student learned she had been selected to receive a 2006 Jeep Liberty Sport for college. Photo by: Courtesy Photo
May 23, 2010 1:26:00 AM
High school graduation is an exciting time for any senior, but for 18-year-old Kayla Blakeney, the big day had an extra sparkle. Four days prior, on awards night, the Caledonia High School student learned she had been selected to receive a 2006 Jeep Liberty Sport for college.
This marks the third year Allen Jones and his wife, Carolyn, of Allen Jones Used Cars in Caledonia, have stepped up to provide transportation for a deserving student headed to college.
The announcement lifted a heavy weight for Kayla, a member of Caledonia''s dance team, and her mother, Sherry Walden. The pair had been in a quandary about how to handle transportation to East Mississippi Community College, where Kayla will attend next semester. She then intends to pursue a nursing degree at Mississippi University for Women.
"Kayla really stood out," said Jones, who served on a panel with faculty and school staff in evaluating essays and selecting this year''s recipient. "She''s overcome obstacles, and lost her step-father to cancer. She''s been an excellent student and wants to go and make something of herself."
The senior''s essay focused on the importance of transportation to the pursuit of a career.
In accepting the vehicle, she agrees to maintain insurance on it, enroll in at least 12 hours each semester and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Upon receiving her diploma, the title of the car is hers, free and clear.
Jones is glad he could continue the car-for-college program.
"In the midst of this down economy, we''re thankful to our loyal customers that enable us to be able to do this again this year," he said. "We hope to be able to continue it next year."
As Jones began his awards night presentation to announce the recipient, Kayla remembers her heart racing as she began to realize he was talking about her.
"I was in shock. When he said my name, I didn''t know what to do," she said. "But I gave him a big hug. This is such a great help and is very much appreciated."
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
Patty commented at 5/23/2010 10:12:00 AM:
Congratulations Kayla! Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Jones - you are kind and generous people. Wasn't born and raised here, but I am very much at home with such good folk around!
nhmom commented at 5/24/2010 12:29:00 AM:
What a wonderful blessing!!! Congratulations to Kayla....and Mr. and Mrs. Jones you are a shining example to all:)