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The Charles Johnson Foundation is poised to make an even bigger impact in Middle Georgia by expanding its college scholarship program for 2016. The foundation has awarded two $20,000 scholarships to Hawkinsville High School students each year since 2012, and will now expand to two additional scholarships between Bleckley County and Wilcox County High Schools.


Scholarships to Hawkinsville High School will continue to be awarded to one male and one female senior student-athlete. Two additional scholarships will be awarded between Bleckley County and Wilcox County High Schools to one male and one female senior student-athlete.


“We’re extremely excited to be able to expand the college scholarship program this year,” said Charles Johnson, Hawkinsville High School graduate and Defensive End for the undefeated Carolina Panthers of the NFL. “The value of higher education is so important to both students and to the larger community in which they live and work. We’re doing all that we can to provide kids more opportunities to attend college and fulfill their goals.”


Among requirements to apply for the $20,000 scholarships (renewal scholarships at $5,000 per year up to four years) applicants must:
  • Be a senior at Hawkinsville High School (Hawkinsville, Ga.), Bleckley County High School (Cochran, Ga.), or Wilcox County High School (Rochelle, Ga.)
  • Receive a varsity letter in at least two sports
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Must be planning to enroll in a four-year college or university in the fall of 2016 as a full-time, degree seeking, first-year student
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade of 70% (2.0 GPA equivalent)
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Demonstrate volunteer commitment of time to support youth in the community
  • Receive written acceptance from their selected four-year college and provide proof in the application (Copy of acceptance must be included in application)
  • Submit all application materials by the March 1 postmark deadline


Additionally, the Charles Johnson Foundation is looking for 9th – 12th graders interested in attending the 2016 Black College Expo in Atlanta, GA, on January 23 from Wilcox County, Bleckley County and Hawkinsville High Schools. Admission to all events, meals and transportation are sponsored by the Charles Johnson Foundation in partnership with the Chamire Holdings, LLC and the RIGHT C.h.o.i.c.e.s. Foundation. Spots will be filled on a first-to-register basis, so those interested are encouraged to register as soon as possible. The deadline to register is Dec. 17. For more information on this opportunity, please contact each eligible high school’s guidance office.


To view the full Charles Johnson Foundation scholarship application with updated guidelines and requirements, please visit For media requests or additional information, please contact Meredith Geisler at (703) 740-5015 or


Charles Johnson is a native of Hawkinsville, GA, and a proud alumnus of Hawkinsville High School. After attending the University of Georgia where he starred at defensive end, Charles was drafted by the Carolina Panthers of the NFL in 2007 and now serves as a captain of the team.


Through eight professional seasons, Charles has received All-Pro recognition on the strength of 63 career sacks, placing him among the premier pass-rushers in the league.


In 2012, Charles’ passion for philanthropy and loyalty to Middle Georgia led him to launch the Charles Johnson Foundation. A non-profit organization, the Charles Johnson Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling a two-fold mission:


  • Providing opportunities for under-served youth to reach their full potential through athletic, recreational, and educational programs and initiatives; and
  • Providing support for single African American mothers through proven programs and initiatives.


The Charles Johnson Foundation Sports Academy and Community Weekend is the flagship annual event for the Charles Johnson Foundation, combining his efforts to advance education with free sports clinics in football, basketball, tennis, dance and cheer.

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.