Each year the Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) awards scholarships to well deserving students employed by member stores. This year’s John W. Reed Memorial scholarships were awarded during the GJA annual convention in August. A surprise announcement was made by the scholarship committee chairwoman, Jan Fergerson (Ford, Gittings and Kane, Rome, GA) at Sunday’s GJA president’s luncheon. Because GJA did not award any scholarship in 2020, the committee decided to award the traditional two $500 scholarships for 2021 and two more scholarships for 2020!
This “catch up” action also allowed the committee to remember GJA past president William “Bill” Rosenfeld by announcing two winner’s names in Bill’s memory. Rosenfeld was the person who first suggested and helped create the scholarship program in March of 2012. Since that time GJA has awarded 22 $500 scholarships to students of the jewelry arts and sciences of the jewelry industry.
Each year a four-person selection committee reviews “blind” versions of each application, applicant’s letter and the store owner’s recommendation letter to make their selection.
This year’s winners include Katherine Bennett of Hodges Jewelry Company in Pelham, GA; Krista Lovering of Ford, Gittings and Kane in Rome, GA; Johnathan Densmore of Key’s Jewelry in Canton, GA (photo not available); and Sydney Baston of Tena’s Fine Diamonds and Jewelry in Elberton, GA. Ms. Bennett was on hand to hear her name announced as one of the deserving recipients.
The scholarship program is named for the GJA past president John Reed who passed away shortly after its inception. Reed was a strong believer in educating employees at the retail level and the program was named for him as a memorial to his legacy.
To apply for a 2022 scholarship, employees of GJA member stores should look for the applications to be mailed to their store and posted on the GJA website in February.