Senator-Elect Blake Tillery announced a Grand Prize winner for his first annual Youth Legislator Scholarship Competition for students in the 19th Senatorial District.
Middle and High School students were asked to identify the most useless, outdated or worst Georgia law or regulation, explain why it should be repealed, and/or amended and explain the necessary process to do so.
Miss Briley Braddy of Montgomery County won the Grand Prize with her essay addressing enforcement of tax accountability and compliance among public officials and political candidates. Tillery stated, “Miss Braddy’s essay pointed out that while current Georgia law prohibits a candidate who owes back taxes from running for public office, the law has been gutted by caselaw, has no teeth, and is effectively worthless. She suggested changes could be made and I agree whole-heartedly. No one should be making decisions about our tax dollars when they haven’t paid theirs.”
For her efforts, Miss Braddy was awarded $250.00, the opportunity to page at the Georgia State Capitol, and will have her idea considered by the state legislature. Mr. Bobby George, Briley’s History teacher, was also awarded $150.00 for classroom supplies.
Miss Braddy is in 9th grade at Vidalia Heritage Academy where she is a member of Key Club, the Harvard Model Congress, and the Competition and Spirit Cheerleading teams. Outside of school, Briley holds a black belt in Karate and is a member of First Baptist Church, Mount Vernon. Upon graduation, Briley is interested in studying Pharmacy. Briley is the daughter of Brandon and Donna Jean Braddy of Mount Vernon.
From left to right: Bobby George, Briley Braddy, and Blake Tillery.
Miss Nubia Dayana Young of Wayne County won Second Prize with her essay proposing amendment of current Georgia Department of Education graduation requirements to reduce certain requirements and add a course in financial literacy. Nubia explained, “A course in financial literacy should be required for all high school students in the state of Georgia to better ensure financial stability and to equip students with the full wealth of knowledge needed to be successful in today’s society.”
Tillery added, “Nubia made a strong case for why certain graduation requirements were less needed in our current workforce and should be deleted while at the same time she showed that an understanding of credit card debt, compounding interest, and simple tasks like balancing a check book were much more important in today’s economy and workforce.”
For her efforts, Nubia was awarded $150.00 and will have the opportunity to present her idea to state decision-makers at the Capitol and in the State Department of Education.
Miss Young is a 10th grader at Wayne County High School where she is a member of the tennis team, FCA, Beta Club, FBLA, and Student Council. Nubia is also a Governor’s Honors Nominee and is enrolled with Coastal Pines Technical College’s “Move on When Ready” dual credit program. Outside of school, Nubia works at her grandfather’s business, Executive Car Care, and serves as a minister-in-training at Jesup New Life Ministries. Nubia enjoys reading, writing, and hopes to one day pursue a business degree with an emphasis in education.
From left to right: Rondall Madison (uncle), William “Bill” Wilson (grandfather), Yolonda Cornett (Aunt), Blake Tillery, Nubia Young, Lakisha Wilson (Mother), Mawa Wilson (Grandmother), and Pastor Bertha Cobbs
Eighth-grader Mr. Bryson “Kole” Williams of Jeff Davis County won Third Prize with his essay proposing amending current gun restrictions that would allow greater freedom to use firearms for the purpose of defending oneself in certain cases.
Tillery stated, “I was impressed with Kole’s knowledge of the constitution at such a young age. His essay pointed out that all constitutional rights are restored after an individual serves their debt to society except their 2nd amendment rights. His essay made you stop and think. For a 8th grader to accomplish this means someone is doing something right at Jeff Davis Middle School.”
For his efforts, Mr. Williams was awarded $100.00 and his idea will be discussed with other state lawmakers.
Outside of the classroom, Mr. Williams is a member of the golf team, FFA, and the Hazlehurst Church of God youth group. Kole is interested in one day studying optometry. Kole is the son of Ken and Kristi Williams of Hazlehurst.
From left to right: Jeff Davis County School Superintendent Dr. Stan Rentz, Blake Tillery, Kole Williams, Jeff Davis Middle School Teacher Tracey McNeal, and Mandy Britt, Assistant to Senator-Elect Tillery.