2021 Achievers are believers

Fort Dale Academy senior Jamie Pickens and Greenville High School senior Ja’Korey Shepherd were recipients of a $3,500 scholarship courtesy of the 2021 Achiever Award ceremony, held at Southside Baptist Church Thursday evening, May 13. Twenty-three amazing Butler County student-athletes were nominated for this year’s award.

The Achiever Award is co-hosted by the YMCA of Greenville and the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Director, Tracy Salter, said this year’s sponsors truly went above and beyond.  “The Achiever Award Scholarship and Banquet is made possible by the gracious financial, donation and volunteer support of local businesses and individuals,” said Salter.

“The two scholarships presented at the banquet and everything that makes this program a success is because of the businesses and individuals that were recognized in the event program and during the ceremony – and several others that work behind the scenes.”

“We’re also truly grateful for Southside Baptist Church and Associate Pastor Aaron Miller for allowing the banquet to be hosted at their beautiful church.  The venue was truly perfect,” Salter said.

“Congratulations to each and every nominee – each nominee exemplifies the attributes of Christian, community, athletic and academic leadership.”

“We are so blessed by this award, both that our wonderful community would honor our daughter in this way and that the Lord would entrust us as parents with such a precious gift.  We always feel love for our children, but there are times when we are almost overwhelmed by it,” said Jamie Pickens mother Kathy.

Jamie said, “I am so humbled, grateful, and blessed by receiving this award. Words cannot express how proud I am to be a part of such an amazing community that is Butler County. I am beyond thankful for those within my school, sports activities, and church that have supported me in all of my endeavors. I am and will always be indebted to this community for all that it has done for me.”

Greenville High School basketball head coach Marcus Mickles said of Shepherd, “He’s a great kid, one of a kind. He’s everything you would want in a young man. He’s respectful, responsible, dependable, and has great manners. If I had a son, I would definitely hope he looked up to Shep, because he’s that great of guy. I love him like my own family.”

Shepherd said, “I owe this award all to God. Without him putting my parents, teachers, coaches, and community members in my life, none of this would be possible. They are the ones that have guided and molded me to be the young man I am now. I was very excited to be a nominee, but to be a winner is everything. All the work I have done was done out of a good heart. This award isn’t taken lightly, as it is an honor to represent Butler County in such a way.”

His mother, Tammie Shepherd said, “Ja’Korey’s father (Jeffery) and I are so proud of him! We were truly thrilled that he was able to accomplish such a great feat. We are overwhelmed and excited about what the future holds for him. We are very appreciative for all of the support that was shown to him during the interview and selection process. We will forever be grateful to everyone who has impacted his life along this journey and ask that will continue to keep him lifted in prayer as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.”

Ja’Korey plans to attend South Alabama and major in physical therapy.

 

 

Achiever Nominees Biographies

Michaiah Austin

Michaiah Austin is the daughter of Ali and Constance Crenshaw and is a senior at Georgiana School. She is a three-sport athlete lettering in basketball, track and field, and softball. She has served as the girls’ basketball team captain and was a 2021 Alabama High School Athletic Association Bryant-Jordan Award Nominee. Michaiah is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and the Student Government Association and has also served as her school’s Girl State representative. Michaiah is an AB Honor Roll student and has been named her school’s Valedictorian. She has volunteered for the Toys for Tots program, the Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, Community Youth Football programs, Community Awareness projects through CHOICES!, and the Holiday Market. Michaiah is a member of Bethel Baptist Church where she is involved in the youth choir and has volunteered her time at church fundraisers.

 

Nacardyen Ball

Nacardyen Ball is a senior at Georgiana School and is the son of Laquita Pate. During his high school career, he has played basketball, baseball, and football. During his basketball career, he has been named to the Georgiana Christmas Tournament All-Tournament Team and the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s South Region Championship Team. Throughout high school, he has been involved in Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, and Kappa League. He volunteers his time helping with Little League Football, Park and Recreation Basketball, and as a Kappa League Big Brother. Nacardyen is a member of Crenshaw Community Baptist Church where he participates in many youth programs.

 

Brody Cartwright

Brody Cartwright is a senior at Fort Dale Academy and is the son of Tim and Stephanie Cartwright. He has lettered in football and baseball for four years. Brody has served as the Varsity Team Captain in football and baseball and has also been named to the Fort Dale Academy All-Tournament Team. He is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Farmers of America, Key Club. He has served his community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber Page and has volunteered with gun safety classes and the Back-to-School Bash. He is a member of Brushey Creek Baptist Church where he sings in the Youth and Adult Choir, has helped with Vacation Bible School, and has served as a Shocco Springs Kids Camp Staff Volunteer.

 

Jess Causey

Jess Causey is the daughter of Mark and Evelyn Causey and is a senior at Fort Dale Academy. Jess has lettered in cheer, golf, track, and soccer during her tenure as an Eagle. Jess is an A Honor Roll student and has been named an Honor Graduate within her class. She is a member of National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Government Association, Eagle Representatives, Beta Club, Key Club, and Experiencing Community by Helping Others. Jess has been named the Butler County Distinguished Young Woman First Runner Up, has been named a Pioneer Youth Tour Delegate and was a Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference Attendee. Jess also serves her community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Camellia Girl where she helps with the Fourth of the July Celebrate America event, Chamber Fall Supper, Camellia CityFest, Downtown Trick-or-Treat, the Christmas Parade, and the annual Chamber Banquet. She also volunteered with the Nursing Home COVID-19 Banner Project, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Jingle for Jesus 5K Run, and Experiencing Community by Helping Others High School Dance Marathon benefiting Children’s Hospital. Jess is a member of First United Methodist Church where she is involved in Vacation Bible School, Youth Missions Week, and Stop Hunger Now Project.

 

Charleston Coker

Charleston Coker is a senior at Fort Dale Academy and is the son of Charles and Jennifer Coker. Charleston has lettered in basketball, golf, and track. He has been named the basketball team captain and has qualified for the State Tournament in golf. Charleston is A/B Honor Roll student and has been named an Honor Graduate within his class. He has received the LBW Seth Hammett Scholarship and has received the President’s Education Award for Academic Excellence. He is a member of the Yearbook Staff, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, Beta Club, and the Alabama Junior Cattlemen’s Association. Charleston has also competed in the World Championship Domino Tournament. Charleston has served as a Fort Dale Basketball Camp Volunteer. Charleston is a member of Bethel Baptist Church where is active in Discipleship Now.

 

Virginia Coker

Virginia Coker is the daughter of Charles and Jennifer Coker and is a senior at Fort Dale Academy. During her tenure as an Eagle, Virginia has lettered in volleyball, track, golf, basketball, and softball. Virginia has been named the volleyball team captain for three years in a row. Virginia is an A Honor Roll student and has been named an Honor Graduate within her class. Virginia was her school’s 2020 Girl State Representative and 2019 Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference Ambassador. Virginia is a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, Experiencing Community by Helping Others, Key Club, and the Alabama Junior Cattlemen’s Association. Virginia is an active volunteer in the Three Arts Club where she has helped with events such as the Christmas Bazaar and the Hank Williams Festival. Virginia has also competed in the World Championship Domino Tournament. Virginia is a member of Bethel Baptist Church and attends East Side Baptist Church. She is active in Vacation Bible School, Fall Festivals, Trick-or-Treat, and Live Nativity Scenes.

 

Emily Davis

Emily Davis is a senior at Greenville High School and has lettered in basketball for four years. She is the daughter of Theresa Jones. Emily has received the Captain’s Award in basketball. Emily serves as the drum captain in the marching band and serves as a section leader in the symphonic band, jazz band, and percussion ensemble. Emily is active in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps where she serves as the drill team captain and is a member of the rifle team and academic team. She is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, Tri-M Honor Society, and GHS Drama Club. Emily serves her community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Camellia Girl she helps with Trick-or-Treat, school beautification projects and various community events such as the National Wildlife Turkey Federation Banquet and her school’s Veteran’s Day Program. Emily is a member of Long Creek Missionary Baptist Church where she is active in the youth choir, drill team, Sunday school, and Bible study.

 

Simon Edwards

Simon Edwards is a senior at Greenville High School and has lettered in soccer for the past four years. He is the son of Chad and Stacey Edwards. Simon is an Honor Roll student and has been named as Honor Graduate in his senior class. Simon is a member of Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow Honor Society, Tri M Honor Society, Environmental Science Club, Greenville Area Arts Council Ritz Player, Audio Visual Club, Yearbook Staff, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Eagle Scouts. Simon is also a member of Greenville High School’s Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Symphonic Band. Simon serves as the drum captain for the marching band and as a student composer and arranger for the Greenville High Band Program. Simon also serves his community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber Page where he helps with the Fourth of the July Celebrate America event, Chamber Fall Supper, Camellia CityFest, Downtown Trick-or-Treat, the Christmas Parade, and the annual Chamber Banquet. Simon also volunteers his time with Joseph Ministries Food Bank, Greenville Elementary Drum Camp, Greenville Middle School COVID-19 Bench Project, and Christmas at the Ritz. Simon is a member of the St. Elizabeth Parish where he is active as an alter server, a Vacation Bible School leader, and is active in organizing outdoor games, music, and art activities for the church.

 

Catherine Grace Johnson

Catherine Grace Johnson is a senior at McKenzie School and is the daughter of Larry and Connie Johnson. During her tenure as a Tiger, she has lettered in cheer where she has served as her team captain during her senior year. Catherine Grace is an A/B Honor Roll student and has received the Woodmen of the World Scholarship and the Trojan Leadership Scholarship. She is a member of Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Student Government Association, and Future Farmers of America. Catherine Grace has volunteered with the Future Farmers of America Sugar Cane planting project, at bake sales, as a concession stand worker for baseball and softball games and was a volunteer at the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dance. Catherine Grace is an active member of Lyeffion Baptist Church where is she a Youth Worship Leader, Bible Basics Teacher, and is active in the ZBM Church Camp.

 

William Michael Johnson

William Michael Johnson is the son of Larry and Connie Johnson and is a senior at McKenzie School. He has lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He was the regional Bryant Jordan Scholarship Winner and his class Salutatorian. He was the Boys State representative and the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference representative for his school. He is active in Future Farmers of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club, Student Government Association, and Future Business Leaders of America. William Michael volunteers his time with the Conecuh County Back to School Bash, ZBM Ministries, and Future Farmers of America Sugar Cane planting project. He is a member of Lyeffion Baptist Church where he is a member of the Usher board and the youth group.

 

Charnetta Jones

Charnetta Jones is a senior at Georgiana School where she letters in basketball and track and field. She is the daughter of Leana Bogan. Charnetta is an A/B Honor Roll Student and has received the Lead by Example Award. She is a member of the National Honor Society. Charnetta volunteers her time helping with youth football, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast, and the Community Awareness project through CHOICES!. Charnetta is a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where she is active in Sunday School, the church usher board, youth activities and praise dance and worship.

 

Shelby Lawrence

Shelby Lawrence is the daughter of Jimmie and Deborah Lawrence and is a senior at Fort Dale Academy. During her high school career, Shelby has lettered in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She is an Honor Roll student and has been named an Honor Graduate of her class. Shelby is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Math Team, Scholars Bowl, Student Government Association, Jobs for America’s Graduates, Tiger Representatives, Key Club, Experiencing Community by Helping Others, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Shelby has volunteered her time as a Kiwanis Butler County Fair volunteer, a LifeSouth Blood Drive volunteer, a Safe Harbor Fundraiser volunteer, a high school math tutor, a CMN Dance Marathon volunteer, and a Bark in the Park volunteer. Shelby is a member of Salem Church of Christ where she is active in Sunday school, youth group, and Vacation Bible School.

 

Abby Little

Abby Little is a senior at McKenzie School and has lettered in cheer for four years. She is the daughter of Troy Little and Brandy Pouncey. Abby is an A/B Honor Roll student. She is a member of Future Farmers of America, Beta Club, Jobs for Americas Graduates, Yearbook Staff, and National Honor Society. Abby has volunteered her time helping with the school’s concession stand for sporting events, at Country Place Memory Care, and Campus Clean Up Project. Abby is a member of Loves Way Church where she is active in Discipleship Now.

 

Dale Lucas

Dale Lucas is the son of Christal and Shep Lucas and is a senior at McKenzie School. During his tenure as a Tiger, he has lettered in football and basketball. Dale is an A/B Honor Roll student. He is a member of Beta Club, Future Farmers of America, and Mu Alpha Theta. Dale has volunteered his time helping with beautification projects at school, community trash cleanup projects, and mentoring students. He also enjoys racing. Dale is a member of Brooks Baptist Church where is active in youth conferences, choir, Sunday school.

 

Parker McNaughton

Parker McNaughton is senior at Fort Dale Academy and is the son of Kent and Chanda McNaughton. During his high school career, he has lettered in soccer, track, football, and basketball. During his senior year he was named soccer captain. Parker has been named his school’s Valedictorian. He is a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, National Society of High School Scholars, Scholar’s Bowl, Student Government Association, Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Eagle Representatives. Parker has attended the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Conference, the Alabama Lion’s Club Leadership Conference, the Capstone Leadership Academy, and the 2020 Economic and Community Development Scholars Program. Parker also serves his community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber Page where he helps with the Fourth of July Celebrate America event, Chamber Fall Supper, Camellia CityFest, Downtown Trick-or-Treat, the Christmas Parade, and annual Chamber Banquet. Parker is a member of Southside Baptist Church and is active in the youth group, Sunday school, Vacation Bible school, Children’s church, Discipleship Now, and Mission FUGE.

 

Ruth Anne Nimmer

Ruth Anne Nimmer is a senior at Greenville High School and has lettered in volleyball, softball, and soccer throughout her high school career. She is the daughter of Michael and Lisa Nimmer. Ruth Anne is an Honor Roll Student and has been named as an Honor graduate for her class. She is a member of Beta Club, Tri- M, Conservation Society, Chess Club, Drama Club, Art Club, Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Marching Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. Ruth Anne volunteers for community funerals to play “Taps” and be a part of the flag details and she has also helped with several Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day programs. Ruth Anne is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where she has volunteered for Hurricane Clean Up projects, Summer Camps fundraisers, and Girls Camps.

 

Jamie Pickens

Jamie Pickens is a senior at Fort Dale Academy and is the daughter of Leander and Kathy Pickens. During her high school career, she has lettered in basketball, track, tennis, and has served as a water girl for the football team. Jamie was named to the AISA Girls Basketball All Star Team for 2021 and has served as Captain for basketball and tennis. She is an A Honor Student and has been named as an Honor graduate for her class. Jamie is a member of Student Government Association, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Fellowship of Active Christian Teachers and Students, Key Club, Experiencing Community by Helping Others, and Eagle Representatives. She has also attended the Huntington College Economic and Community Development Scholar’s Program, Pioneer Montgomery and Washington Youth Tour, Capstone Leadership Camp, Lion’s Club Youth Camp. Jamie also serves her community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Camellia Girl where she helps with the Fourth of the July Celebrate America event, Chamber Fall Supper, Camellia CityFest, Downtown Trick-or-Treat, the Christmas Parade, and the annual Chamber Banquet. Jamie has also volunteered with cleanup projects after hurricanes, basketball camps, Operation Christmas Child, Jingle for Jesus 5K, prayer walks, and Message on the Mound. Jamie is a member of Southside Baptist Church where she is active in youth committee, youth group, Shepherd’s Table, Vacation Bible School, Discipleship Now, and Mission FUGE.

 

Nate Richardson

Nate Richardson is a senior at Fort Dale Academy and has lettered in football, basketball, tennis, and track during his high school career. He is the son of Trevor and Brooke Richardson and Jason and Rebecca Butts. Nate served as the basketball and tennis team captain. Nate is an A Honor Roll student and has been named as an Honor graduate for his class. He is a member of Beta Club, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Fellowship of Active Christian Teachers and Students, Eagle Representatives, Pep Squad, Student Government Association, and Experiencing Community by Helping Others. Nate has served as his school’s Boy State Representative and Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference representatives. Nate also serves his community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber Page where he helps with the Fourth of the July Celebrate America event, Chamber Fall Supper, Camellia CityFest, Downtown Trick-or-Treat, the Christmas Parade, and the annual Chamber Banquet. He has also volunteered with the Butler County Fair, Comfort Care Hospice, Operation Christmas Child, and Christmas Caroling. Nate is a member of Antioch East Baptist Church where he is active in Vacation Bible School, Children’s Church, the nursery, Discipleship Now, and Mission FUGE.

 

Dawson Sarblah

Dawson Sarblah is the son of Carolyn Sarblah and he is a senior at Greenville High School. He has lettered in basketball, track, and football during his tenure as a Tiger. Dawson has been named the 2020 & 2021 5A Area 4 Tournament Most Valuable Player and he has participated in the Alabama and Mississippi All Star Game and the Alabama North and South All-Star Game. Dawson is also a member of the 1000-point club, has set the school record for 24 points in a quarter and 31 rebounds in a game, and has served as the basketball team captain. Dawson is a member of the Drama Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Art Club, Key Club, Tiger Representatives, Future Business Leaders of America, National Technical Honor Society, Beta Club, Spanish Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. Dawson also serves his community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Camellia Page where he helps with Trick-or-Treat events, Ribbon Cuttings, and Meet and Greet events. He also volunteered his time helping with the Martin Luther King Memorial Breakfast, Operation Christmas Child, Safe Harbor, Joseph Ministries, and Old Time Farm Day. Dawson is a member of College Street Church of Christ where he is involved in visiting and singing to the residents of Crowne Healthcare, hosting holiday basket deliveries, youth days, and assisting with Communion.

 

Ja’Korey Shepherd

Ja’Korey Shepherd is a senior at Greenville High School and is the son of Jeff and Tammie Shepherd. During his high school career, he has lettered in football, track, and basketball. Ja’Korey has served as a captain for the football team and has received the highest GPA award for football for four consecutive years. Ja’Korey is an A/B honor roll student and has been named an honor graduate for his class. He is a member of Tiger TV, Key Club, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Jobs for America’s Graduates, Future Business Leaders of America, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Ja’Korey has volunteered his time as a concession stand worker for the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department, has helped with the Tiger Stadium Renovation Project, and has helped with the building process of the Greenville High School batting cages. Ja’Korey is a member of Perfecting Holiness Nondenominational Church where he is active in Sunday school, youth Bible study, youth ministry, S.O.S. Mentoring Program, media ministry, and is a youth usher.

 

Samuel Sherling

Samuel Sherling is the son of John and April Sherling and is a senior at Greenville High School. During his high school career, he has lettered in football and golf. Samuel has served as a captain for the football team and has competed in the State Golf tournament. He has been a member of Eagle Representatives, Key Club, and Student Government Association. He served his community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber Page and founded Project Pen Pal. Samuel is a member of First United Methodist Church where he is active in 5th Quarter, Stop Hunger Now, Joseph Ministries, Parents Night Out, and New Year’s Ski retreats.

 

Sara Watford

Sara is a senior at McKenzie School and is the daughter of Will and Stephanie Watford. She has lettered in softball and volleyball during her tenure as a Tiger. Sara has been named her class Valedictorian, her school’s Girl State representative, and a Pioneer Youth Tour delegate. She is a member of Future Farmers of America, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Sara has volunteered her time with Fall Festivals, Mayfest, the McKenzie Christmas Parade, and McKenzie Parks and Recreation. Sara is a member of East Chapman Baptist Church where she is active in youth group, fall festivals, and nursing home fruit basket events.

 

Megan Wright

Megan Wright is the daughter of Keith and Nancy Wright and is a senior at Fort Dale Academy. During her tenure as an Eagle, Megan has lettered in cheer, softball, and tennis. Megan has served as the cheer team’s co-captain and has been named as an UCA All- American Cheerleader and UCA All- Star Cheerleader. Megan is an A honor roll student and has been named as one of her class Honor Graduates. She is a member of Beta Club, National Honor Society, Math Team, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, Experiencing Community by Helping Others, Fellowship of Christian Teachers and Students, Pep Squad and Student Government Association. Megan also serves her community as a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Camellia Girl where she helps with the Fourth of the July Celebrate America event, Chamber Fall Supper, Camellia CityFest, Downtown Trick-or-Treat, the Christmas Parade, and the annual Chamber Banquet. She has also volunteered with the Big “C” Golf Tournament, Fall Festivals, Christmas Caroling, and the Elementary Extravaganza. Megan is a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church where she is an altar server, Vacation Bible School volunteer, and has participated in regional Family Life Conferences.

Leave a Comment