Lori Jepson of Blountsville, Alabama, was recently named the recipient of the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship. She is currently an employee of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources working at Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville, Alabama.
“My projected goals in the next five years would be to move into management with the state park system and generate new programs and ideas for conservation,” she said. “I would like to see more funding allocated to our public spaces and education on why treating our wild spaces with respect is crucial to our future. I would also like to use my education to create more green spaces within the state of Alabama and promote people converting their lawn into more native species.”
With this scholarship, Lori plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental management at CSU.
“I am returning to college after about 20 years to add a bachelor’s degree to my currently held associate degree. A bachelor’s degree is required for most job listings, and I feel that focusing on the conservation and environmental management would help me to achieve moving up in the park system.”
Lance Butler of Thomasville, Georgia, has been awarded the CSU Fire Scholarship. Butler works as a first responder for the Tallahassee Fire Department.
“As a first responder, I have not been immune to the effects of the recent pandemic,” he said. “It has carried its own financial burden on myself and my family. This scholarship would not only help to ease that burden of higher education costs, but would also help me to realize my dream of becoming the first person in my immediate family to achieve a degree.”
Butler is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in fire administration at CSU.
“From the moment I began taking courses at Columbia Southern University, I knew that this university is where I wanted to continue my education after I achieved my associate degree,” he said. “Professionally, this scholarship would also help me to gain more knowledge, experience and wisdom to apply to my career, helping to propel me through the ranks of my department.”
To learn more about Columbia Southern University’s scholarships, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Scholarships.