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Jennifer Acuna-Lara is the Halifax County Schools recipient of the Ethel W. Crawley Memorial Education Fund Scholarship, which entitles the student to a full four-year ride covering tuition, room, board, school fees and books.

Acuna-Lara is a graduating senior at Southeast Collegiate Prep Academy and plans to attend East Carolina University to major in nursing. 

She will be a first-generation college student who said her parents instilled in her the value of a good education at a young age.

“I am extremely proud of Jennifer and her accomplishments,” said Superintendent Eric Cunningham. “Jennifer's hard work and dedication have paid off. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Jennifer and hope that she begins her nursing career in Halifax County.”

Cunningham said Acuna-Lara told him that her mission is to give back to her family in the future after she becomes a nurse.

"I will be making my parents proud by being the first in my family to attend college,” the student said. “I am honored and grateful for this incredible opportunity. I cried and thanked God for hearing my prayers and accompanying me on this journey. 

“Knowing that I won't have to worry about college expenses for the next four years makes me even more enthusiastic about the future. Hard work does pay off. Thank you, God, my parents, family, friends, and those who have helped and supported me.”

Southeast principal Lykisa McCoy said, "Jennifer is a studious and goal-oriented student in school and within the community. She truly excels in her performance, and we are proud to see our Trojan transition to a Pirate."

Crawley died April 11,1998, and was a lifelong resident of Littleton, teaching music for 28 years at Littleton High School. Her scholarship has benefited dozens of Roanoke Valley students over the years.