South Georgia Tech Foundation awards Phil Jones – Alfred “Foots” Harris scholarship to Automotive Technology’s Reeves and Sanchez

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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From Staff Reports

AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Foundation presented Chase Reeves and Rosemary Sanchez, outstanding Automotive Technology students with the Phil Jones – Alfred “Foots” Harris Automotive Scholarship recently.

South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford and SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird made the scholarship certificate presentation on behalf of the South Georgia Technical College Foundation in the John M. Pope Center on the college’s Americus campus.

SGTC Automotive Technology Instructor Brandon Dean was on hand for the presentation along with Vickie Harris Austin and Al Harris, daughter and son of the late Alfred “Foots” Harris.  Tom Jones, son of Phil Jones, was unable to attend.

Phil Jones and “Foots” Harris were lifelong friends and they shared a passion for automobiles.  This scholarship was established as a way to remember them as well as give back to others who shared their love of cars.

Vickie Austin and Al Harris congratulated Chase Reeves and Rosemary Sanchez on the award and also encouraged them to continue their outstanding work in the automotive technology program. “Our father and Mr. Jones were well-respected and well-loved in this community.  It is our hope that you will carry that type of reputation forward in your life,” said Mrs. Austin.  “We congratulate you on your accomplishments and wish you the best in the future,” added Al Harris.

Chase Reeves, who is from Leesburg, attended Lee County High School and enrolled in the SGTC Automotive Technology program after graduation.  He is the son of Chris and Christy Reeves and thanked them and his instructor Brandon Dean for the scholarship opportunity.

Reeves is already working in the automotive field.  He attends class and also works at Prince Chevrolet in Albany.  He is set to graduate next semester.

“I love it here,” said Reeves.  “Mr. Dean is a great instructor.  He is teaching us how to rebuild as well as repair and not just replace.  At my job, most of what we do is replace defective parts with a new part.  Here, we learn to rebuild and repair in addition to just replace.”

Reeves hopes to one day own his own automotive shop but he realizes that he needs to gain more experience before he is ready.  He urges others who would like to pursue a career in the automotive field to check out South Georgia Technical College.  “I highly recommend South Georgia Tech.”

Rosemary Sanchez was the other Automotive Technology student selected for the Jones-Harris Scholarship.  Sanchez is the daughter of Rose-Maria de Rosario Garcia and Miguel Angel Sanchez.  She came to South Georgia Technical College from Woodstock, GA and lives on-campus.

She said she has always liked working on cars since she was a little girl and watched her father.  She is a non-traditional student in the Automotive Technology program and says she does not mind being in a classroom with all males.  “I have always liked working with cars and I know that not many girls do, but I really enjoy it.  If other females have an interest, I would recommend that they come out and see what we do.”

Sanchez also had high words of praise for her instructor Brandon Dean.  “He is a good instructor and he is very passionate about his program.”  She is in her second semester in the program.

The Jones-Harris Scholarship is designated for Automotive Technology students who excel academically. This scholarship endowment was established by Ruth Jones as a tribute to her late husband, Phil Jones, and his close friend, Alfred “Foots” Harris.  The Harris family also added to the endowed scholarship with the South Georgia Technical College Foundation.

Harris and Jones began their friendship as teenagers when they worked together and continued to be close friends and work associates until Jones’ death in 2003. Their mutual love of cars led to a long-lasting friendship and ultimately to a scholarship specifically designated for Automotive Technology students at SGTC. This was the first endowed scholarship dedicated specifically for students in the Automotive Technology program.  Mr. Harris passed away in 2019.

Each year, Automotive Technology students are awarded scholarships to help defray the costs associated with college such as books, tuition, tools, dorm expenses, and other fees. Applicants are selected from the President’s list and recipients are chosen based upon a points system.

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship with the South Georgia Technical College Foundation contact SGTC Executive Director Su Ann Bird at or 229-931-2110.  Donations to the foundation in honor or memory of loved ones can be sent to the SGTC Foundation, P.O. Box 6102, Americus, GA 31709.

South Georgia Technical College is currently enrolling students for an eight-week mini-mester.  Classes start March 13th and it is not too late to apply and register.  Visit the SGTC website at to apply.

For more information about the Automotive Technology program contact SGTC Automotive Technology Instructor Brandon Dean at or 229-931-4625.