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'A fantastic way to wrap up a crazy year': Best friends win college scholarship from Macon law firm

Stratford Academy 2020 graduates Matt Newberry and Abby Ellison have been best friends since Pre-K. They had no clue they both applied for the same scholarship.

MACON, Ga. — A pair of best friends are splitting the winnings from a college scholarship competition put on by a local law firm.

Stratford Academy 2020 graduates Abby Ellison and Matt Newberry will be splitting a $2,500 scholarship from the Buzzell, Welsh & Hill personal injury law firm.

They both submitted ideas for a marketing campaign that highlights the dangers of distracted driving, according to a press release from the law firm.

Ellison says she wrote an essay, made a poster, and produced a short commercial as part of the campaign.

"I had a great experience with it," she said.

"Winning the scholarship was amazing because I put so much time and thought into making it the best it could be," Newberry said.

Newberry and Ellison have gone to school together since Pre-K and have been best friends ever since.

"I've spent a bunch of family dinners together. I go to his birthday every year, gone on beach trips together. We are actually so close to each other," Ellison said.

Ellison says she and Newberry had no clue they were applying for the same scholarship.

"We both found out when we were both on the finalist list and it was so funny," Ellison said.

Ellison says Newberry was second on her list to contact when found out she won the scholarship, right behind her mother. 

"I was like, 'Matt we both got this! This is the best day ever,'" Ellison said.

Newberry says winning the scholarship alongside his best friend of 14 years made the prize even more special.

"It was such a fantastic way to wrap up such a crazy senior year," he said.

"Obviously we both wanted to win the scholarship, but we didn't want it to be over the other person, so it was so nice that they were able to find a way that we were both able to win," Ellison said.

Ellison has already started online classes at Georgia Tech and Newberry will begin at Elon University in the fall.

You can find Ellison's and Newberry's distracted driving campaigns on the Buzzell, Welsh & Hill law firm website


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