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Youth Legislator Scholarship recipients have been announced
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On Dec. 13, Sen. Blake Tillery (R – Vidalia) presented John Colby Thompson, Riley Rothwell, and Abigail Mauldin with the 2nd Biennial Youth Legislator Scholarship Awards. The Youth Legislator Scholarship is awarded biennially to three middle or high school students who are residents of Senate District 19. Winners are chosen based on their essay on one of two prompts provided by Sen. Tillery. This year, roughly 90 percent of applicants chose the prompt of “providing examples of steps the state could take to encourage young individuals to build a life and career in rural Georgia.” 

John Colby Thompson, an 8th grade student at Vidalia Heritage Academy in Toombs County, was awarded the 1st place prize of $250. Additionally, his sponsoring teacher, Ms. Laura Clark, was given $150 to be used on classroom supplies. John Colby is the son of Terry and Tiffany Thompson of Lyons.

Riley Rothwell, a 9th grade student at Telfair County High School, was awarded the 2nd place prize of $150. Riley is a resident of Alamo and is the daughter of Tammy Turner and Thomas and Stephanie Rothwell. She was encouraged to participate in the scholarship contest by Telfair County High School teacher Ms. Samantha Stanley-Bateson.

Abigail Mauldin, a senior at Tattnall County High School, was awarded the 3rd place prize of $100. Abigail is a resident of Reidsville and is the daughter of Penelope Mauldin. As well as being a student, she currently interns at the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Department. Her sponsoring teacher at Tattnall County High School was Ms. Jan Oliver.

“I am excited to see these students showing an interest in policies related to our area and am happy to award these deserving individuals,” said Sen. Tillery. “It is telling that almost all of the applicants chose to write on how we could better market and encourage a life in rural Georgia. It’s comforting to know that our youth have the same goal in mind as myself, our governor and other elected leaders to encourage those who have left rural Georgia to come back home and to show those who have never lived here why it is the best place to live, work and raise a family. I am looking forward to the upcoming session and telling my fellow senators and representatives about all the wonderful ideas our students have to improve upon the foundation rural Georgia has.”

Sen. Blake Tillery represents the 19th Senate District, which includes Appling, Jeff Davis, Long, Montgomery, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne, and Wheeler counties and a portion of Liberty and Tattnall counties.  He can be reached at 404-656-0089 or by email at

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