By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Brandon Davis Memorial Scholarship honors workforce-bound graduates
Brandon Davis

Special to the Herald

Jesse Clifton
Jesse Clifton
Four standout students from this year’s Workforce PhD program received a jump start for their career goals with a $500 scholarship. Jesse Clifton and Jaquez Jones from Effingham County High School and Dylan Edwards and Christopher Fletcher, Jr. from South Effingham High School received the Brandon Davis Memorial Scholarship in awards ceremonies held May 20 and 21. The scholarship provides funding that can be used for expenses related to entering the workforce such as tools, uniforms, or professional certifications.

 “There's a lot of scholarships out there to help kids that are planning on going to college. Recruiters to support kids who want to enlist in the military; but there's nothing really to help kids that are ready to go into the workforce,” says Todd Wall, CEO of Effingham College & Career Academy. “We wanted to provide more support for them.”

Jaquez Jone
Jaquez Jones
Previous recipients have found success in their blossoming careers. Kaydence Stearns, a 2023 graduate of South Effingham High School and a recipient of the inaugural Brandon Davis Memorial Scholarship, is now employed at AeroDynamic Aviation because of the connections she made during the Workforce PhD program. In March, she spoke to this year’s participants about what she learned and how she is applying it in real life.

Dylan Edwards
Dylan Edwards
The scholarship was established in 2023 in memory of Brandon Davis, head of maintenance for the Effingham County School District. Davis was killed in a car accident at age 37, and after his death a group of community partners and the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority banded together to create a scholarship to help students headed for the workforce.

 “Brandon’s story is a shining example of the benefits of career and technical education,” says Jessica Hood, vice president of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority. “We are honored to support students who are choosing to enter the workforce after graduation.”

Davis built his career in the Effingham County School System, starting from his high school days. He participated in the work-based learning program, getting hands-on experience working in the maintenance department of his high school for part of the day. After graduation he continued to work with the Effingham County School District, advancing up the ladder to eventually oversee maintenance for the entire school system.

“Brandon was a wonderful husband, father, brother, and son.  He has touched so many lives and continues to do so every day,” says Melissa Davis, widow of Brandon Davis.  “We are truly honored that the Effingham County School District has named this scholarship after him.  He is a true example of this workforce program.  Brandon would be speechless to see the way the school district has honored him and his memory.”

Christopher Fletcher
Christopher Fletcher
The Workforce PhD program–a partnership among the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, Effingham County School District, Savannah Technical College and local employers–gives students a leg up as they prepare to enter the workforce after graduation. Each spring, participants tour local companies like Georgia-Pacific, Halstead and AeroDynamic Aviation. They learn how to craft a resume, ace a job interview, and hone soft skills that will benefit them throughout their careers. Interested rising seniors can sign up to participate in spring 2025 to become eligible for next year’s scholarship.