Central Georgia teens preserve history, build their futures

The Watson-Brown Foundation's Junior Board of Trustees uses grant money to preserve and protect historical sites throughout central Georgia.

Thanks to a group of central Georgia high school students, ceiling cracks and tattered upholstery will get new life at Lockerly Arboretum's Rose Hill House in Milledgeville.

The Milledgeville Junior Board of Trustees, part of the Watson-Brown Foundation, awarded the site $10,000 in grant money for the repairs and upgrades. It's one of the group's many projects to preserve and protect historical sites throughout the region.

Alyssa Easley is a senior at Georgia Military Prep School and is now in her second year as a member of the junior board.

"It gives you a sense of how much you should appreciate history and what the importance of preserving these historical sites is," says Easley. "It's literally what your community is built off of."

Matt Davis, head of the central Georgia chapter, says they're looking for more students to join the group. He says the students will get a first-hand look at what it takes to preserve the sites.

"They send out the grant requests, they review them, and they decide where the money goes," he says.

Each year, the Junior Board has $33,000 in grant money to award to various places throughout the region. In the past, some of that money has gone to places like Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville and the Hay House in Macon.

Easley says visiting the sites and learning more about their importance was a great opportunity. She also says the lessons she's learned while on the Junior Board will help her reach her goal of becoming a surgeon.

"I got a chance to meet new people, sharpen my leadership skills, and learn more, not just about Milledgeville, but about the cities and counties surrounding Milledgeville," she says.

Applications to join the group are due by Sept 28. Davis says high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors throughout central Georgia can apply.


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