True Scholarly Success
Meet Edward Gaines – Rowland Publishing’s 2007 scholarship winnerScholarly Success
By Anitra Ellison
Edward Gaines Wins Rowland ScholarshipEdward Gaines describes himself as “hardworking” – a rather modest assessment of the 18-year-old honor graduate of Lawton Chiles High School who is the recipient of the third annual Rowland Publishing Scholarship.
Gaines, who will attend the University of Florida in the fall, garnered an impressive array of accolades, all while working, participating in extracurricular activities and maintaining a 4.1 weighted GPA.
No stranger to working hard, Gaines’ past jobs include McDonald’s, Publix, the Golf Club at Summerbrooke and, most recently, the Hawks Rise Extended Day Program, an elementary after-school program. When he wasn’t working, he was participating in the National Honor Society, Key Club, National Achievers Society and playing basketball and football for his high school.
Though his full schedule may seem daunting, Gaines found a way to balance school, work and extracurricular activities with a social life.
“I knew that if I let my grades slip in school, then I couldn’t play sports,” he said. “My mom had a rule: If I got two C’s, then I couldn’t play.”
His academic excellence has not gone unnoticed. In addition to Rowland’s $500 scholarship, Gaines received the Sam Walton Community Scholarship, the National Federation of Independent Business’ Young Entrepreneur Award, the Southern Scholarship, the O’Connell Leadership Award and the Papa John’s Scholarship.
Gaines said he gets much of his motivation from his uncle, E. Edward Gaines, for whom he is named.
“He sets a high bar for me,” the younger Gaines said. “He is my example. He’s pretty much my dad. When I need help, I call him.”
It was his uncle, a pharmaceutical representative, who interested Gaines in sales and marketing during a summer of travel, and he plans to study those subjects when he attends college in the fall.
“In the future, I hope to get my MBA, be in public relations or be a pharmaceutical rep,” Gaines said.
With his sights set on his future endeavors, he is grateful for those in his journey to success.
“I thank my family, teachers and friends for helping me with everything,” Gaines said. “I knew people counted on me, and I couldn’t let them down.”