• 68°

PCI starts college fund

Present at Tuesday’s announcement were, left to right, Foundation board member Bob Jones, PCI Tribal Vice Chair Robbie McGhee, PCI Tribal Council Member Keith Martin, PCI Tribal Chair Stephanie Bryan, PCI Tribal Council Member Sandy Hollinger, Foundation CEO Rebecca Byrne and Foundation board member Greg Dorriety.

Present at Tuesday’s announcement were, left to right, Foundation board member Bob Jones, PCI Tribal Vice Chair Robbie McGhee, PCI Tribal Council Member Keith Martin, PCI Tribal Chair Stephanie Bryan, PCI Tribal Council Member Sandy Hollinger, Foundation CEO Rebecca Byrne and Foundation board member Greg Dorriety.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) has approved the creation of a new $1 million scholarship fund to benefit high school students in the state of Alabama and portions of the Florida panhandle.

On Tuesday, PCI made an initial $250,000 contribution to the Community Foundation of South Alabama, in order to establish the “Poarch Creek Indian Community Scholarship Fund.” The tribe also committed an additional $750,000 for 2016.

The fund will award two scholarships annually to one male and one female residing in Alabama or in the Florida counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington or Gadsden.

“We are so proud to make this contribution, and to partner with the Community Foundation of South Alabama,” PCI Tribal Chair Stephanie A. Bryan said. “Education is the catalyst that can help individuals attain their career goals, and we are honored to help them reach for these goals that may have otherwise been unattainable.”

Scholarship recipients will be selected and awarded by the Community Foundation of South Alabama on an annual basis.

As an endowed fund, all contributions will be pooled with the Foundation’s assets and invested, causing the fund to grow over time. As the fund grows, the amount of the fund will fluctuate. In the first year, the selected students are expected to receive up to $6,000 each.

“The Poarch tribe is once again supporting the community of southwest Alabama in a way that will give back to younger generations alive today and yet to come,” said Rebecca Byrne, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Through this gift, the tribe recognizes and enables education as the most important way people can lift themselves up, and in so doing, lift up the whole community.”

PCI Tribal Vice Chair Robbie McGhee said that there are a number of programs that already help tribe members with their education, so the tribe was excited to begin a program that will benefit all students in the region.

“It’s nice to be able to do what we can to help others,” he said.

Bryan added that the tribe is excited to begin the new scholarship program.

“We think this is an awesome opportunity,” she said. “We always try to do whatever we can, to support higher education.”

Scholarships will be awarded, beginning in 2016. For more information on scholarship eligibility and how to apply, visit online at www.communityfoundationsa.org/scholarships.