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Leaders Education Foundation Hosts 1st Annual Mgt and Awards $10,000 in Scholarships

Leaders Education Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit based in Jackson, Tenn., hosted its first annual meeting virtually on July 21, 2020. Formed in 2019 by Leaders Credit Union, the Foundation has partnered with organizations and citizens to Give Forward to the community. In its first acts to Give Forward, the Foundation announced the recipients of the first Leaders Education Foundation Scholarships. Its Scholarship Program was launched in 2020 in partnership with Leaders Credit Union to award $10,000 to high school seniors. Six recipients were selected to receive three different scholarship offerings based on academic achievement and leadership in their school and our community.

The Financial Wellness Video Scholarship awards $2,500 to a student for his/her video application detailing the importance of financial literacy. These video applications were viewed by over 16,000 individuals and were shared over 2,800 times.

The Founders Scholarship honors Leaders’ local roots, specifically the Jackson-Madison County School System, with one $1,500 scholarship to a student within the school system.

Leaders Education Foundation also awards $1,500 Community Scholarships to students throughout West Tennessee.

This year’s Scholarship Winners are:

  • A’Zaria Cole– Jackson Central Merry Early College High- $2,500 Financial Wellness Video Scholarship
  • Naji Combs– Madison Academic High School- $1,500 Jackson-Madison County School’s Founders Scholarship
  • Halle Jordan– Fayette Academy- $1,500 Community Scholarship
  • Joe Mego– Madison Academic High School- $1,500 Community Scholarship
  • Kaitlyn Waites– Obion County Central High School- $1,500 Community Scholarship
  • John Matthew Lawson- Milan High School- $1,500 Community Scholarship

These scholarships are a fundamental pillar of how we give forward to students in West Tennessee,” said Eddie Hays, Chair of the Leaders Education Foundation’s Board. “We are proud to be a small part of these students’ academic journeys toward success and look forward to seeing them excel in the future.”

The Foundation could not have given these scholarships without the generosity and commitment of our Sponsors and Members. Along with Leaders Credit Union’s financial commitment to the Foundation, seven other Corporate Charter Sponsors have each made a five-year financial commitment of varying levels to the Foundation.

Our other Sustaining Corporate Charter Sponsors are Town & Country Realtors, and Ellis Insurance. Our Advocate Corporate Charter Sponsors are Confluent Strategies, Open Lending LLC, and PSCU. Our Partner Corporate Charter Sponsors are Nelson SignCo and Jessi Pruett, Byrd & Byrd, Attorneys at Law, Medina office.

“We thank all of our Corporate Charter Sponsors, who so eagerly joined us to Give Forward to our community,” said Leigh Anne Bentley, President of the Leaders Education Foundation. “These generous donations supported our launch, helping us make a positive impact on our community for years to come.”

Foundation memberships also contributed to the Foundation’s formation and initial actions to Give Forward.  Several individuals became Members with the payment of one-time $10.00 membership dues.  Thirty-seven individuals also donated a minimum of $500 each to become Charter Members of the Foundation.

The formation of the Foundation would not have been possible without the leadership and commitment of our Board of Directors. At the annual meeting, the first elections of Directors were held. Mary Lou Adams was elected for an initial one-year term; Karen Taylor and Stephanie Riley were each elected for an initial two-year term, and Ron Hill and Eddie Hays were each elected for an initial three-year term.

“With the servant leadership of our Board and support of our Sponsors and Members, we will fulfill the Foundation’s mission to ‘Make lives better, together.’, noted Bentley.

To become a member of the Leaders Education Foundation, visit and select Give. Donations of all sizes are appreciated, and membership is automatic by donating $10 or more. Donations over the $10 membership fee may be given in honor or memory of a loved one.  Leaders Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that allows for a tax-deductible donation.

To learn more about the Leaders Education Foundation’s impact or membership, visit

About Leaders Education Foundation

Leaders Education Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to making lives better in its community by bringing educational resources and opportunities to students and educators in West Tennessee. Leaders Education Foundation partners with local organizations and Foundation members to provide educational grants, scholarships, and other resources to promote lifelong learning, workforce development, and education. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.

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