On May 7, Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) 2015 Scholarship recipient Jessica Perry graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC). Jessica hopes to continue her college career in the natural resource sector with a Master’s Degree from the University of Denver.
“Our Association proudly supports the efforts of forestry students enrolled in our state’s colleges and universities.” President Steve McWilliams said. “Jessica is a great example of the type of student who excels in the classroom and who carries her passion to the field with her career.”
Each year, GFA donates scholarship funds to ABAC and the University of Georgia to recognize a student who consistently performs at a high-level of academic rigor and professionalism. In order to be considered for the scholarship, students at both schools must be enrolled as a forestry student and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Jessica was awarded the GFA scholarship in the fall of 2014.
“This scholarship has provided me with experiences that will allow me excel in graduate school and future employment opportunities,” Jessica said. “Without this scholarship, I may not have had the opportunity to accomplish some of the things I have. It has been an honor and privilege to be selected for the scholarship.”
Jessica, a Bulloch County native, graduated this spring from ABAC with a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Natural Resource Management with a specific track in forestry. In the fall, she will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver.
“When I was a little girl my father taught me the importance of forestry practices and land conservation. I grew up spending a lot of time in the forest hunting and fishing with him along Georgia’s coast,” Jessica said. “In high school, I took a forestry course with Yvette Crick, and she introduced me to a career that I could love and be passionate about. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to work in forestry for the rest of my life.”
In addition to the hometown atmosphere and small class sizes, Jessica’s favorite aspect of ABAC was her advisor Dr. Rod Brown.
“He has been more like a father figure to students than an instructor,” Jessica said. “Dr. Brown has always been available to give advice on my educational goals, career endeavors or just on life itself. I give many thanks to him for all his advice, I would not be near the person I am today if I had not been blessed to have him showing me the way.”
While a student at ABAC and working full time, Jessica served as vice president of the ABAC Forestry Club; participated in study abroad trip in spring of 2015, became a Certified Arborist; and participated in a Mission Trip to Haiti. Jessica is also a member of First United Methodist Church in Tifton.
In addition to GFA’s scholarships to ABAC and UGA, the Georgia Tree Farm Program is currently accepting scholarship applications for college bound high school seniors, college freshman, sophomores and juniors. Applicants must be a legal dependent of a Certified Georgia Tree Farmer in the American Tree Farm System for at least two years. The deadline is May 15. Download Scholarship Application →