By Su Ann Bird
AMERICUS – T’Erra Wilkerson of Baxley received the Lou Crouch Law Enforcement Scholarship from the South Georgia Technical College Foundation after completing class 21-01 at the South Georgia Law Enforcement Academy. Wilkerson obtained his POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification from the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy.
“This scholarship will be of great use to me in helping me achieve my educational and professional goals,” said Wilkerson. “My family pointed out early on that post-education was compulsory. They also taught us the importance of working for what you need. I started my first job when I was 16 and used my savings to pay for tuition, uniforms, books, and other items associated with the academy. Receiving this scholarship is great. I am very grateful to Lou Crouch for creating this scholarship and giving me and others this opportunity.
Lou Crouch of Bryon endowed his first scholarship to South Georgia Technical College in January 2013 to assist students who have enrolled in SGTC Law Enforcement Academy and along with Wilkerson, Crouch has offered scholarships to 25 students so far.
SGTC Chairman Dr John Watford congratulated Wilkerson on receiving the Lou Crouch Fellowship and wished her the best as she began her career as a certified POST officer. “I am very proud of you and I am proud of Lou Crouch and the others who have supported the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy through individual scholarships,” said President Watford.
Wilkerson said that obtaining her POST certification had helped her grow as an individual and that she was excited about her new career path. “My father is a sergeant in the Appling County Sheriff’s Office and my mother is an administrative assistant in the Appling County School Board. Growing up, both of my parents worked hard, but their chosen career path did not leave much room to provide more than the basic necessities of life. But I can’t remember a time when my parents didn’t provide for my brother and I and they always taught us the importance of working for what you need.
Although she says it took her “a few years” to determine her career path, she feels that she has now found her true calling and is excited to take the next step. “My parents continue to encourage and support me and I am very grateful to them.”
SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird explained, “This scholarship is a tremendous help for young men and women who are training to become public servants and work as law enforcement officers here in Georgia. This scholarship not only helps our students, but it makes communities safer. We appreciate Lou Crouch’s involvement and financial support for this program and our students.
For more information on donating or creating a scholarship at South Georgia Technical College, contact Su Ann Bird, Executive Director of the SGTC Foundation at 229.931.2110 or [email protected] Contributions can also be sent to the SGTC Foundation, PO Box 6102, Americus, GA.
South Georgia Tech is one of six technical colleges in Georgia that are licensed to provide training for new law enforcement officers to receive their basic law enforcement training and graduate at the same time university credits. Cadets undergo 18 weeks and over 700 hours of intense mental and physical training.
LEA graduates receive their Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification from South Georgia Technical College as well as a technical credit certificate that can be used towards earning an associate degree or diploma in criminal justice.
For more information on the Law Enforcement Academy, contact the Law Enforcement Academy office at 229.931.2716 or SGTC Law Enforcement Academy Director Brett Murray at 229.931.2756 or [email protected]