LINCOLN -- Lincoln graduate Colton Hankins walked away from high school with his first vehicle.
Hankins received the school's first transportation scholarship, which was a reliable used vehicle given to a graduate who plans to either attend a secondary institution or go to work.
To be eligible for the scholarship, a student cannot have access to a vehicle to drive after graduating from high school.
Hankins received a 2007 Nissan Altima and saw it for the first time the day before graduation and was able to drive it home that day.
"This will help me get a job and get on track," Hankins said. "It will help me in life to go further and help me for the future."
Hankins is interested in graphics and game design and hopes to attend a school in Florida called Full Sail Academy. Until then, though, he is looking for a job to help earn money for school.
Mark Scates, Lincoln High's dean of students, said teachers and staff nominated 23 seniors for the transportation scholarship. Of those, 10 met the scholarship criteria and were invited to interview with a five-member committee.
To be eligible, students were required to have at least a driver's permit, reach their 18th birthday by June 30 and met all graduation requirements. They could not have any drug policy violations on their school record and were required to sign a liability waiver.
The recipient is responsible for maintaining the vehicle and vehicle insurance.
Scates, who helped come up with the idea, noted that Lincoln is a rural community and it is hard for kids to get a job without transportation.
"There's a need here and we want to meet that need if we can," Scates said.
According to Scates, the committee's decision was not easy.
"We have a lot of good kids and I'd like to give them all a car," Scates said.
Hankins stood out, he said, because he is ambitious, has a good work ethic and is very outgoing.
"He is very deserving," Scates said, adding, "He's an awesome kid and I'm guessing he's going to pay it forward one day."
The transportation scholarship was funded through donations from partners that included PG Telco and American Drive-In in Lincoln. Bryan Davis with Davis Automotive donated his shop to provide preventive maintenance and any other repairs.
General News on 06/05/2019
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