FORSYTH COUNTY — Five recent high school graduates have received scholarships from the DeSana Educational Fund to finance their college education.
The 2015 recipients include Lilliana Boyd and Antonio Sifuentes from Forsyth Central High School, Ashley Evans from West Forsyth, Kenneth Malaney from Lambert and Avery Babykin from North Forsyth.
Established in 1998, the fund has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to high school graduates who are involved in their communities and perform well academically.
Roger Crow, chairman of the fund, said that the late Jim DeSana was an engineer with General Motors, while his wife, Jeanne, worked at Emory University and was Georgia’s first state-appointed geneticist.
According to Crow, the couple became involved in the Forsyth school system after moving to the county in 1972. The DeSanas judged several science and oratorical contests, raised money for student organizations and joined the Optimist Club.
“They wanted to leave a legacy having to do with education,” Crow said.
The DeSanas served on the scholarship board until their deaths in 2008. Elizabeth Martin, a retired physician who lived in the county, endowed the fund and has a scholarship named in her honor as well, Crow said.
Last fall, the local school board voted to name the system’s 10th middle school after the couple.
DeSana Middle School is scheduled to open in 2016 at 625 James Road, one block south of McFarland Road off Union Hill Road.
As for this year’s scholarship recipients, Boyd plans to study biochemistry at the University of Georgia, while Sifuentes will attend Georgia State University to pursue art with an emphasis on medical illustration.
According to the foundation, Malaney plans to pursue a pre-medicine degree at the University of North Georgia, while Babykin will study nursing at the college in Dahlonega.
Evans will attend the University of Georgia, where she will study exercise science and psychology.
Crow said the students can attend any school and study any field they wish, but must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average in college to keep the scholarship.
Students are awarded $2,000 for their first year of college and $1,000 for each of the remaining three years.
Those interested can apply through their high school’s counseling office and are then interviewed before the foundation board makes its selections.