Foundation fund

Charles Eames finds unique way to ‘change lives’ at South Georgia Technical College

From staff reports

AMERICUS – Charles Eames, a retired librarian from Waycross, Georgia, has found a unique way to “change lives at South Georgia Technical College” in Americus and Cordele as well as other parts of South Georgia. He has been donating to the South Georgia Technical College Foundation since 2014 to provide gas scholarships to help students pay transportation costs to and from college campuses.

“With the rising price of gas, I realize that sometimes a student can be one tank of gas away from dropping out,” Charles Eames explained. “It was then that I had the idea to donate to the South Georgia Technical College Foundation and other college foundations in South Georgia to provide the funds needed to donate $50 gas cards students going back and forth to university. It’s my way of helping students stay in college.

And the project started by Eames in 2014 and continued over the past eight years is even more needed today, as gasoline prices continue to rise and hit a new record high almost daily. Over the past few months, the SGTC Foundation has been awarding different students $50 gas cards to help make it easier to come to class – all thanks to Charles Eames and his wonderful idea.

A student drives 40 miles one way each day to attend class. He has a job, but he’s struggling to make ends meet with rising gas prices. He thanked Mr Eames and said the Petrol Scholarship could not have come at a better time. Another student is a single mother trying to improve her life and that of her children. The gas card encouraged her to stay in college.

Students come from all walks of life and are enrolled in different programs including: Aviation Maintenance, Welding and Assembly, Practical Nursing, Child Care, Culinary Arts, Electrical Systems, Criminal Justice, Health Care Assistant , air conditioning, barber, firefighter/EMSP, medical assistance, cosmetology, sports and fitness management and business technology.

Charles Eames’ generosity is “Changing Lives @ South Georgia Technical College” as well as impacting the success of our community due to the varied programs and services where students will find employment upon graduation.

The “Charles Eames Travel Fund” was established at South Georgia Technical College in 2014 and the SGTC Foundation works with the college’s information technology and admissions staff to provide gas gift cards to selected students at the chance as long as funds are available. The college compiles a list of all non-resident students and selects a number using random.org which corresponds to a student’s name. No student can win twice.

“I want to thank Charles Eames for his dedication to learning and for his willingness to fund a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will directly impact the lives of our students,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford . “Many of our students are facing tough economic times and sometimes $50 can make a huge difference that can pay dividends for a lifetime. As Mr. Eames said, a tank of gas may be all there is to a student graduating this semester.

The South Georgia Technical College Foundation has partnered with Circle K to provide the $50 gift certificates that can only be used for gas. Circle K, has stores located in Americus and Cordele where the main and satellite campuses are located and will be convenient for winning students to use. Charles Eames Travel Fund scholarships are available for students enrolled at the Americus and Crisp County Center campuses.

“I realize it’s not a lot of money, but if I can help a student stay in school, it will be well worth my investment,” Eames continued. “By randomly selecting students, every qualified student will have some HOPE of being selected and sometimes hope and a little help can make a big difference.”

Charles Eames is originally from Ohio but has spent over 40 years in the South and is a retired librarian from Waycross, Georgia. He served on the Board of Trustees of Waycross College in Waycross prior to its merger. He first established the Charles Eames Travel Fund at South Georgia State College and Okefenokee Technical College (now Coastal Pines), both in Waycross, and at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro. It has expanded this program now to include South Georgia Technical College and other colleges in this area.

“We greatly appreciate Charles Eames and his dedication to continuing students,” said South Georgia Technical College Foundation executive director Su Ann Bird. “We are honored that he included our students in his efforts to impact student success and help students achieve their college dreams. He is making a difference in the lives of students across South Georgia with this simple yet thoughtful gesture.

For information on awarding a scholarship to South Georgia Technical College students or to make a donation to the South Georgia Technical College Foundation, contact Su Ann Bird, Executive Director of the SGTC Foundation, at 229-931- 2110 or [email protected] edu.