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Garris Is First Oakley Scholarship Recipient

Brandon GarrisWINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Foundation announced this month that Ayden’s Brandon Garris has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the Timothy Oakley Scholarship.

Brandon, who is the son of Ayden’s Tammy and Jerry Garris, is a 2012 graduate of Ayden-Grifton High School. He plans to enroll in PCC’s University Transfer program this fall and eventually complete fire/rescue academy training to become a firefighter and emergency medical technician.

“I just like helping people,” says the 17-year-old Garris, who has been a volunteer with the Ayden Fire Department since July 2011.

Through his scholarship, Garris will receive $600 this fall to offset the cost of his educational expenses. He will receive another $600 through the award for spring semester.

Timothy Oakley’s mother, Candy Moore, initiated the scholarship along with family and friends to honor her son, who died in an automobile accident in August 2006, before his senior year at Ayden-Grifton High School.

Prior to his death, the 17-year old took courses at PCC and served as a junior fireman with the Winterville Fire Department. He had dreamed of a firefighting and EMS career.

Though he never personally met Oakley, Garris said he knew of him through family and friends. “I’ve heard he was a really nice guy and did a lot of good things for people,” he said.

Garris says he is thankful for the Oakley Scholarship and is proud of the fact that he is the award’s very first recipient.

“I really appreciate it,” he said. “It feels good to get help like that so I can go on to do the same things that Tim did.”

The Timothy Oakley Scholarship is reserved for Ayden-Grifton or D.H. Conley High School seniors/graduates who either serve as volunteer firefighters or who will pursue firefighting careers.