By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Almost 20 years ago a Millington Central High School student saw a chance to give back within the school finding the Special Friends Club.
The brainchild of Jaemye Brandon is still going strong as MCHS student pair up with other students who are a part of the special needs department.
Brandon, who lives in Utah now, recently sent a letter to MCHS Administrator Beth Hale wanting to give a $1,000 scholarship to a senior who participated in the Special Friends Club. The first Brandon Special Friends Scholarship was awarded to Holly Smith. Hale and function skills teacher Katie Niemann presented Smith with the scholarship.
Smith graduated from MCHS May 14 with honors, and she received her scholarship on May 26. In the letter sent to Smith and the MCHS Administration, Brandon explained her reasons for giving back.
“I found the club 19 years ago and just recently heard that it’s still going strong,” she wrote. “It warms my heart to hear of young adults like you stepping up and becoming friends with those that others don’t seem to understand, or they’re scared to interact with.
“It’s not a lot, but I would like to award you with $1,000 for you to use towards your education,” Brandon added. “You are the first recipient of the official Special Friends Scholarship Award. You should be proud of yourself. Jaemye, the daughter of James and Sunnye Boyd, wrote some addition thoughts about giving out her first scholarship.
In all honesty, it warmed my heart to hear that the Special Friends Club that I started 19 years ago was still active. It’s just amazing. I grew as a person when I worked with the special needs children in high school, and I’m assuming others are growing as well. What better way to thank those young adults than a little help for college? It’s not much…but it’s something to allow me to thank them for their time dedicated to help those in the special education program. Although, I don’t live in Millington any longer, that’s still home. It always will be. It wasn’t hard decision to support a good cause back home. Hopefully, this draws attention to the club, and more students will join next year!