Elected officials, family, friends and members of the Steve Rose Outreach Organization gathered on the steps of the Elmore County Courthouse on Tuesday, July 6, to award two students with the Derrick Lucas Beat the Odds Merit Scholarship.
Jazmin Faulkner, a recent Wetumpka High School graduate, and Baukis Wise, a graduate of Stanhope Elmore, each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Steve Rose Outreach Organization.
Lucas was a 2007 graduate of and state champion wrestler for Wetumpka High School. He was also a National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) All-American, an NCWA National Champion, and ranked No. 3 in the NCWA Coaches Poll. In 2008, he placed seventh nationally in the 157-weight class and placed fourth in the Southeastern Conference’s 165-pound weight class in 2009.
He died last year from a heart attack at the age of 31. The nonprofit organization strives to raise awareness about heart disease and mental health, said Latasha Jackson, Lucas’ cousin and president of the organization.
“We’re so proud to be able to help these students as they prepare for college,” Jackson said. “They embody the same drive and determination that Derrick had.”
To qualify for the scholarships the students had to be involved in their community, have at least a 3.0 GPA, provide recommendation letters, write an essay stating why the deserved the scholarship and provide a copy of their college acceptance letter.
Faulkner is set to attend Troy University in the fall, while Wise is off to Huntsville’s Alabama A&M.