MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Georgia Military College, along with Baldwin County Fire Rescue, awarded the very first GMC 801 Fire Rescue Scholarship Friday.
The winner is 17-year old Baldwin high schooler Emmanuel Alexander, and he’s about to make GMC history.
"Me being African-American, putting myself in the history books with being one of the first people to be able to do this is such a big achievement and honor,” he said.
The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, and books. The winner must serve two years with Baldwin County Fire Rescue after graduation, but that's alright with him.
"I want to help people. That's why I want to be a firefighter and I'm trying to follow in my dad's footsteps," said Alexander.
Darian Alexander has been a Baldwin County firefighter since 2017. He says he's tried to set a good example for his kids.
"He would always ask me, 'Can I come to the fire station, Dad? Can I see what you do,'" said Darian. “You know, I didn't know he was as serious as he is now, but you want be their role models, their heroes. And so I think that's one of the things that helped me be one of his heroes."
Lt. Alexander has a role model too. He worked at Baldwin County’s Station 8 and Dwayne Morgan is the reason why the scholarship exists today.
Morgan was a GMC alum and a Baldwin County volunteer firefighter chief. He was also one of Alexander's mentors when he passed away last October.
"He was a person that gave back a lot to his community and this scholarship is a way of giving back and honoring him,” said Darian. “For my son to be the first recipient of this scholarship means a lot to me, a lot to my family, and to Baldwin County Fire Rescue. This scholarship definitely represents him.”
Georgia Military College Executive Director Colonel Nelson Kraft says that Morgan graduated GMC in 1979 and is giving many future first responders and firefighters a chance to help.
"We came up with this scholarship really to offer hope and opportunity through education for our community, and we are absolutely excited to provide that opportunity,” said Kraft.
Colonel Kraft was one of the officials presenting the award to Emmanuel.