Last year was the end and the beginning of many things. In the midst of all the chaos, I remained determined to find snippets of light among what seemed like grand darkness. Several things blossomed from that season: I returned to school; I rediscovered my true self; I opened myself to new adventures, new relationships and a new way of living; I let go of my “perfect life” and become open to creating and recreating a wonderful life regardless of where I thought I’d be or who I thought would be along for the journey. That has worked out well. This summer I also celebrate the one year anniversary of this blog – one of the best gifts I could ever give myself – and the first full year of the Carter Alexander Scholarship Award!

When I contacted my high school Alma mater for a pool of recipients, I never imagined the awardee would be so close to “home” – that has made this endeavor that much more special! She is from my small sub-town, I know her family intimately – we all grew up together – and she is attending a satellite location of the same college where I completed my graduate studies. I am so proud of her and elated that she is the first recipient of the Carter Alexander Scholarship Award!!!

Introducing Ms. Lanitra Bennett – In her own words: I am Lanitra Bennett. I am the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alonza Bennett. Currently I am a sophomore at University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina majoring in Business Administration. Once I get my BA in Business Administration, I plan to attend the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC and major in MA in Human Resources. After obtaining my graduate degree, I would like to work in the Human Resources department of a large corporation or non-profit organization.

My first year in college was a wonderful experience because I received a quality education, while meeting lifelong friends. If there was one thing I can say I had to work on, it was managing my time – thankfully I am a quick learner! My favorite part of college was meeting new people and being independent. The most challenging part of college was learning that not all teachers are the same.

During my spare time I love to read, talk on the phone and hang out with my friends.

I just would love to thank you for allowing me to receive this scholarship. You were truly a blessing to me and my family and I can not thank you enough!