Saia awards 12 student scholarships

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Saia Inc. announced the names of 12 students receiving scholarships totaling $18,000 as part of the company’s 2011 scholarship program. Since its inception in 2003, the program has awarded a total of $154,000 to 101 students, including this year’s recipients. Saia’s scholarship program is designed to reinforce the importance of higher education and as a benefit to company employees. It is open to full-time employees attending college and/or their dependants who are designated full-time students.

The following six students were awarded a $2000 scholarship:
• Sandrina Espaillat of Richmond, Va.;
• Jessica Higginbotham of Pocahontas, Ark.;
• Michelle Leute of Cape Coral, Fla.;
• Ashlee Martinez of Galena Park, Texas;
• Darlene Olmedo of Reseda, Calif.; and
• Werner Wolff of Spencerville, Ind.

Another six students were awarded a $1000 scholarship:
• Sarah Babin of Marrero, La.;
• Nichelle Burrison of Stockbridge, Ga.;
• Adrian Melendez of El Paso, Texas;
• Marc A. Rachel of Wichita Falls, Texas;
• Alecia Smith of Pinconning, Mich.; and
• Bailey Williams of Fort Smith, Ark.

“We are always happy to recognize these very deserving students with educational assistance,” says Rick O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Johns Creek, Ga.-based Saia. “The applications the committee reviewed were excellent and highlighted each student’s achievements. Indeed, this year, there were many worthy applicants, which made the task of selecting who to recognize very difficult. Most all of this year’s applicants are very well respected in the communities where they live, and each came highly recommended by their teachers, professors and community leaders.”

Applications to the program are reviewed by a selection committee who evaluate each student’s academic achievement, essay quality, community service, leadership capabilities, communication skills and recommendation letters. Scholarships are awarded based on achievement in one or more of three areas: academic merit, community service and/or innovation.