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Leaders Education Foundation Awarded Over $55,000 at 2024 Annual Meeting

Leaders Education Foundation 2024 Annual Meeting

JACKSON, Tenn. (April 17, 2024) – Leaders Education Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3, hosted its fifth Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, and awarded $57,490 for collegiate scholarships and to community programs throughout West Tennessee.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve with this volunteer Board of Directors to oversee the Foundation’s operations and to partner with the Foundation’s management to ensure our mission of ‘Making Lives Better, Together’ is fulfilled,” said Ron Hill, Leaders Education Foundation Board Chair.

Leaders Education Foundation is continuing its five-year commitment to The READ Team, a program of United Way of West Tennessee. At the 2024 Annual Meeting, Leaders Education Foundation presented a $20,000 check to help continue its mission. The READ Team allows volunteers to partner with students during school hours and under school staff supervision to assist students with reading initiatives weekly. The READ team also manages Words on Wheels, or what is better known as the WOW Wagon, where they take books into various neighborhoods. The commitment and money donated by Leaders Education Foundation covers the cost of materials and resources needed in the schools and with training initiatives for the volunteers. It also helps expand the program throughout West Tennessee. Through a month-long book drive, the Foundation was able to donate over 3,300 books to help fill the WOW Wagon.

An additional $12,490 was collectively donated to local chapters of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The Imagination Library provides one book each month to a child from birth to age five. Leaders Education Foundation joined five Imagination Library Chapters in Crockett, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, and Madison Counties to Give Forward through an "Imagine the Possibilities" campaign. With the campaign, the goal was to raise awareness of the Foundation through new members while financially supporting the participating Imagination Libraries.  

Leaders then awarded $25,000 in scholarships of varying amounts for high school seniors attending a college or university. Leaders Education Foundation received 130 applications for these scholarships. For the Financial Wellness Video Scholarship, there were nine submissions that were viewed over 20,000 times and reached over 35,000 people.


Scholarship winners include: 


  • $2,500 Financial Wellness Video Scholarship – Danielle Rogers – St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School
  • $2,000 Financial Wellness Video Scholarship – Second Place – Abby Groom – Madison Academic High School
  • $2,500 Leaders Credit Union Martha Britt Scholarship – Briana Banes – JCM Early College High School
  • $2,000 Leaders Credit Union Martha Britt Scholarship – Second Place – Chandler Maynard – Dyer County High School
  • $1,000 Scholarship in honor of Town & Country Realtors – Jacob Logan - Hope International School
  • $1,000 Scholarship in honor of Ellis Insurance – Jalen Brooks – JCM Early College High School
  • $1,000 Jackson-Madison County Schools Founder’s Scholarship – Keylee Harvill – Madison Academic High School
  • $1,000 Gibson County Community Scholarship – Madelynn Malone– South Gibson County High School
  • $1,000 Obion County Community Scholarship – Ella Palmer – Union City High School
  • $1,000 Shelby County Community Scholarship – Carly Townsend – Collierville High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Judson Beaver – South Gibson County High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Layton Brooks – Family Christian School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Maleah Burke – Madison Academic High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Josie Halford – Madison Academic High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Avery Holloway– Jackson Christian School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Norah Kendall – Obion County Central High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Katharine Larkins – Madison Academic High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Joseph Lattus– Union City High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Lauren McClain – South Gibson County High School
  • $1,000 Community Scholarship – Katherine Robison – South Gibson County High School

“Fulfilling the mission of the Leaders Education Foundation is a heartfelt endeavor, one that relies on the collective effort of a dedicated community,” said Leigh Anne Bentley, President of the Foundation. “I am deeply grateful for the collaborative spirit of our volunteer board of directors and staff, who tirelessly strive to enhance education opportunities, services, and resources for all. Together, we are affecting meaningful change, empowered by the generous support of our sponsors, members, and donors.”

To start the meeting, Arlington Elementary students performed the National Anthem and lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Annual Meeting also covered approval of the 2024 Annual Meeting minutes, the Board Chairman’s Report, the President’s Report, the Nominating Committee Report, and closing remarks.

The leadership of the Leaders Education Foundation is comprised of a volunteer Board of Directors and staff donating their time, talent, and treasures. The board of directors consists of: Ron Hill, Eddie Hays, Mary Lou Adams, Yvette Blue, Eddie Mae Pirtle, Karen Taylor, Stephanie Riley, Greg Hammond, and Stan Sanders. Linda Rizzuto is the newest addition to the board. Serving on the collegiate scholarship review committee for the past two years, Linda recently joined to serve as a board member.

For more information regarding Leaders Education Foundation or to view their 2023 Annual Report, please visit


About Leaders Education Foundation 

Leaders Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization established in 2019 and based in Jackson, Tenn. The Foundation allows community-minded citizens, members, and organizations to unite to make lives better together. It invests back into its community through scholarships, grants, and additional resources that provide educational opportunities and promote workforce development, lifelong learning, and training for students, teachers, and its community. For more information about Leaders Education Foundation or to become a member and Give Forward, please visit