If not for her, Joshua Whatley might not have been entered the Make Kids Count contest, in which he is now a finalist for the $10,000 scholarship bond.
Joshua, of Edgefield, S.C., and fellow finalist Antonio Carter, of Hephzibah, have won at least a $5,000 scholarship bond.
"We're excited to have this money for his college education," Mrs. Whatley said. "His great-grandmother encouraged us to enter him. It wasn't something we had thought about, but we're glad she did. We have a lot to thank her for."
Antonio's parents shared Mrs. Whatley's excitement.
"We feel very blessed," said Antonio's mother, Rosemary Carter. "With the cost of education and how it's rising, the scholarship will be a huge help. Education is very important, and we've always stressed that with our children. I'm glad to see that others in the community think that, too."
Joshua, 15, and Antonio 17, advanced in the contest's 13- to 18-year-old category during the drawing June 11 at Partners in Achievement.
Dinesia Hickson, of Augusta, and Alex Roker, of North Augusta, were eliminated in the drawing but they each will receive a $1,000 scholarship bond.
Over the past five years, The Augusta Chronicle and its sponsors have distributed more than $395,800 in scholarships to area children.
Sponsors for the contest are Platt's Funeral Home and Partners in Achievement.
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final drawing for the Make Kids Count contest's 13- to 18-year-old category will be Thursday, June 26, during the Augusta GreenJackets game against the Greenville Drive at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The game will start at 7:05 p.m.