Karla Villatoro, a senior at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Ga., is the first ever recipient of the Golden Tiger Award for community service. The scholarship was delivered to Villatoro outside her school by drone on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Karla Villatoro, a senior at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Ga., is the first ever recipient of the Golden Tiger Award for community service. The scholarship was delivered to Villatoro outside her school by drone on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau Delivers First Golden Tiger Scholarship Award by Drone

Mar. 27, 2018
Kristen Bowman

Johnson High School senior Karla Villatoro had a truly one-of-a-kind surprise on Tuesday, March 27, when a drone delivered a letter notifying her that she is recipient of the first Golden Tiger Award, a $5,000 scholarship to the Women’s College of Brenau University.

The Golden Tiger Award recognizes an incoming student for outstanding community service. Students are nominated by their guidance counselors or principals, and the recipient can receive the $5,000 annually. Villatoro is the first recipient of the new scholarship, which she received in addition to another Brenau University academic scholarship. Tuesday marked the first time any scholarship or award was delivered by drone from Brenau – and quite possibly from any other university.

“It is certainly the first time I have heard of scholarship delivery by drone in all my time in higher education,” said Ray Tatum, Brenau’s vice president of enrollment management. “It made for such an exciting way to notify a very deserving student.”

The event took place at the high school’s football field in Gainesville, Georgia, where Brenau’s historic campus is also located. Villatoro, who said she plans to attend Brenau, and her classmates were all smiles as the letter dropped down to her from the drone.

Villatoro is an active member of Johnson High School’s student council, treasurer of the senior class and a member of Anchor Club, through which she volunteers for Special Olympics every year. She also participates in community service through her church youth group.

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