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Local students receive Masonic Scholarships

Representatives from the Masonic Grand Lodge of Alabama were in Phil Campbell last Thursday to award Grand Lodge Masonic Scholarships to two local students.

Jennifer Reed, a 2017 graduate of Phil Campbell High School, and Caleb Huckaba, a 2017 Colbert Heights High School graduate, each received a $1,000 scholarship and certificate.

The scholarships are awarded through the Grand Lodge of Alabama Character Outreach Program. The program recognizes 75 students each year with $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships are funded through an endowment with the Grand Lodge at the state level.

To be eligible to apply, students must have a living or deceased family member who is or was a Mason in Alabama. Reed's grandfather, Charles Smith, is a member of Phil Campbell Lodge 880. Huckaba's great-grandfather, Ernest Hand, and his uncle, Chris Hand, belong to Littleville Lodge 881.

Students write a paper on their life and professional goals as part of the application process. Each of Alabama's five Masonic groups receives 15 scholarships to award. Reed and Huckaba were two of the Group 2 recipients in north Alabama. This year, 131 applications were received statewide.

Reed is the daughter of Gary Reed and Wendy Wood and the granddaughter of Charles and Glenda Smith and Susan Johnson. She will attend Northwest-Shoals Community College this fall and will pursue a Business and Marketing degree. Reed hopes to have a career as a pharmaceutical sales representative.

“I've been attending Masonic meetings since I could walk,” Reed said. “I never thought about the character outreach side of the Masons and what it does. I appreciate the scholarship and what you do for our community.”

Huckaba is the son of Bobby and Angela Huckaba and the grandson of J.C. and Brenda Hand and Wilmer Huckaba. He was this year's valedictorian at Colbert Heights.

Huckaba will attend the University of North Alabama this fall, where he will major in secondary education with plans to become a science teacher.

“I appreciate everything the Masons do," Huckaba said. "There's so much good done by you in this community and state, and this is a really important part by investing in young people in the pursuit of their education."

Much as the Masons do, Huckaba wants to do something to make a difference in his community, and he believes entering the field of education is the pathway to do so.

“I want to be able to do something in life where I can help change other people's lives and help make a difference,” Huckaba said. “I believe teaching to be a good path to impact people with the gifts God has given me.”

Grand Lodge representative Tom Keeton, who presented the scholarships to the students, said Huckaba and Reed distinguished themselves from their peers with their outstanding applications.

“This young man and woman clearly outlined their plans and goals in life, and I believe both of them will be successful," Keeton said. "We hope this scholarship is a small part of allowing them to work to make a difference in their communities."

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