By Su Ann Bird

AMERICUS – T’Erra Wilkerson of Baxley was recently awarded the South Georgia Technical College Foundation’s Lou Crouch Law Enforcement Scholarship for graduating from South Georgia Technical College’s Law Enforcement Academy Grade 21-01. Wilkerson received her Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification from the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy.

“This scholarship will help me a lot in my educational and career goals,” said Wilkerson. “My family emphasized early on that replication is compulsory. You also taught us the importance of working for what you need. I started my first job at the age of 16 and used my savings to help with classes, uniforms, books, and other academy-related items. It is great to receive this scholarship. I am very grateful to Lou Crouch for establishing this scholarship and giving myself and others this opportunity. “

Lou Crouch of Bryon donated his first scholarship to South Georgia Technical College in January 2013 to support students enrolling in the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy. With Wilkerson, Crouch has awarded scholarships to 25 students to date.

SGTC President Dr. John Watford congratulated Wilkerson on receiving the Lou Crouch Fellowship and wished her well as she began her career as a POST certified officer. “I am very proud of you, and I am proud of Lou Crouch and the others who have provided individual fellowships to the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy,” said President Watford.

Wilkerson said that getting her POST certification helped her grow as an individual and she is excited about her new career path. “My father is a sergeant in the Appling County Sheriff’s Office and my mother is an administrative assistant on the Appling County Board of Education. Both of my parents worked hard growing up, but their chosen career paths didn’t leave much room to do more than the necessities of life. But I can’t remember a time when my parents didn’t look after my brother and me, and they always taught us the importance of working for what you need. “

While she says it took her “a few years” to figure out which career path she would take, she feels that she has now found her true calling and is excited to take the next step. “My parents continue to encourage and support me and I am so grateful for their support.”

Su Ann Bird, Executive Director of the SGTC Foundation, said, “This scholarship is a tremendous help to the young men and women who are training to be civil servants who work as law enforcement officers here in Georgia. This scholarship not only helps our students, it makes communities safer. We appreciate Lou Crouch’s dedication and financial support to this program and our students. “

For more information about making a donation or establishing a foundation scholarship at South Georgia Technical College, contact Su Ann Bird, Executive Director of the SGTC Foundation at 229.931.2110 or sbird@southgatech.edu. Contributions can also be mailed to the SGTC Foundation, PO Box 6102, Americus, GA.

South Georgia Tech is one of six Georgia technical colleges licensing new law enforcement officers to receive their basic law enforcement education while earning college credit. The cadets go through 18 weeks and over 700 hours of intense mental and physical training.

LEA graduates receive their Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification from South Georgia Technical College, as well as a technical credit certificate that can be used towards a diploma or associate degree in criminal justice.

For more information about the Law Enforcement Academy, please contact the Law Enforcement Academy office at 229.931.2716 or the Director of the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy at Brett Murray at 229.931.2756 or at bmurray@southgatech.edu.