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SGBC Announces 2023 Hester Memorial Scholarship Winners


Two outstanding students, Kylei Cutts of Tifton and Gavin Young of Sumner, have been selected as the 2023 local recipients of the Julian and Jan Hester Memorial Scholarship from South Georgia Banking Company.

Both students submitted impressive applications touting their academic achievements and accolades, community involvement, and an essay submission on the role of community banking. The students will each receive a $500 cash scholarship from SGBC, and their applications have been submitted for further consideration of four Hester Memorial $1,000 scholarships chosen by the Community Banking Association (CBA).

Kylei Cutts, a senior at Tift County High School and dual-enrolled at South Georgia Technical College and daughter of SGBC employee Chris Cutts, plans to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College this fall. Throughout her high school career, she has held many positions including president of DECA, a nationally recognized organization focusing on marketing, entrepreneurship, hospitality and tourism, financial and leadership concepts. She is a BETA club member, active in FFA, a member of the National Honors Society, and she played tennis and volleyball for all four years of high school. Outside of school, Cutts is very active in her community and participates in her church’s youth group, Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, and Young Life to name a few. Additionally, at the age of 11, Cutts founded “Choose Kindness Everyday,” an initiative helping bring awareness to homeless animals and raise money for her local animal shelter where she has volunteered for 7 years. To date, Cutts has donated over $6,500 toward this cause.

Gavin Young, a Worth County High School senior , honor graduate, and dual-enrolled student at South Regional Technical College, plans to attend the University of Georgia in the fall to pursue degrees in graphic design and ag business. Young is very active in STEM club where he has served as project leader and creates hands-on learning kits for younger children to explore science and robotics. He served as captain of the Robotics Team where he and his team designed and built a robot for competition and won multiple awards. Young also participated in SkillsUSA and is an award-winning welder. He will graduate with three Career Technical and Ag Education (CTAE) pathways completed: Audio, Video, Technology & Film and two welding pathways. He rounded out his high school experience being in the math league, FFA, and FBLA. Outside of school, Young was part of the Colony Leadership Academy and learned the value of hard work by working on his father’s farm.

The Julian & Jan Hester Memorial Scholarship is named after long-time CBA Chief Executive Officer, the late Julian Hester and his late daughter, Jan Hester.

Jan was a senior at the University of Georgia when she died in an automobile accident in April of 1990. In addition to supporting community banking, this scholarship is an opportunity to pass on the positive qualities both Julian and Jan Hester exemplified to further the development of tomorrow’s generations.

Applications are open each spring; if you know a deserving senior in 2024, please watch for information from South Georgia Banking Company next year.