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SGTC’s Fairbanks, Taylor awarded Lou Crouch Law Enforcement Scholarship

From STAFF REPORTS

AMERICUS — Robert Fairbanks of Edison and Joshua Wayne Taylor of Lizella were both presented with the Lou Crouch Law Enforcement Scholarship at the South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Law Enforcement Academy Class 16 – 02 graduation ceremony held in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center on the SGTC Americus campus recently. Both Fairbanks and Taylor earned their “Peace Officer Standards and Training” (POST) certification from the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy.
Taylor was also presented with the “Top Gun Award” for class 16 -02. The “Top Gun Award” is presented to the cadet with the best marksmanship skills on the firing range.
“I would like to thank Mr. Lou Crouch for this scholarship,” said Fairbanks. “I came from humble beginnings and we learned to appreciate the small things in life. As a boy, I would watch the law enforcement officers from the car window that we would happen to pass. I would ask what was the difference between the officers in the green, brown, and blue uniforms. My mother being the comedian that she is, would say, ‘boy they all can take you to jail.’ Now I am one of those officers.”
Fairbanks went on to explain that he has four siblings and when he graduated from high school he abandoned the idea of attending college because he didn’t have the financial resources. “I went into the military and I learned important life skills such as team work, and discipline. These are some of the things that propelled me to where I am today. I also developed a strong desire to serve the people of our country. That desire soon transformed into passion.
“The military granted me the honor of protecting our country and after I retired from the military, I decided to go into law enforcement. Since taking the initiative to begin the process of becoming a law enforcement officer, that interest has magnified. The South Georgia Tech Law Enforcement Academy pushed me mentally and physically. I am very appreciative of this scholarship because it helped me reach my goal of becoming a law enforcement officer.”
Taylor also expressed his appreciation for being selected as a Lou Crouch Law Enforcement Scholarship recipient. “I am so grateful for this scholarship and for Lou Crouch’s support of this program,” said Taylor. “I had a 124-mile round-trip commute to class. I worked on weekends in order to be able to pay for my transportation back and forth so this scholarship is a big help.”
Taylor had also served in the military and left to pursue a new career in law enforcement. “This is a career that I am passionate about. I have a son, Trevor. He is the reason I wake up every morning and get out the door at 5:30 a.m. to make the hour-plus drive to school. This is a career that my son can be proud of me doing.”
Both Fairbanks and Taylor also expressed interest in returning to SGTC to continue their education and earn an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice. “I think continuing my education will drastically enhance me as a police officer protecting my community,” said Taylor. “This career, along with my son, is my passion. The experience I have had during the Law Enforcement Academy at South Georgia Technical College has been one in a lifetime and I am truly blessed to start the career of being a Law Enforcement Officer.”
Lou Crouch of Centerville endowed his first scholarship in January 2013, to assist students who enrolled in the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy and with Taylor and Fairbanks, Crouch has provided scholarships for 11 students so far. He was on hand to present the scholarship certificate and the scholarship during graduation.
“I have had the opportunity to volunteer with law enforcement officers around the state and I am very grateful to them for their service and dedication,” said Crouch. “I am very pleased that I am able to give back to and help deserving law enforcement academy students at South Georgia Technical College.”
SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Su Ann Bird thanked Crouch for the endowed scholarship and for the assistance that he was providing for SGTC Law Enforcement Academy students.
“This scholarship is a tremendous help to the young men and women who are training to become public servants and work as law enforcement officers here in Georgia,” said Bird. “This scholarship is not only helping our students but it is making our communities safer and we appreciate Lou Crouch’s involvement and financial support of this program and our students.”
For more information about making a donation or establishing an endowed scholarship at South Georgia Technical College contact Su Ann Bird, SGTC Foundation executive director at 229-931-2110 or sbird@southgatech.edu. Contributions may also be mailed to the SGTC Foundation, P.O. Box 6102, Americus GA 31709.