Two Gadsden State students were recently awarded national scholarships through the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Donald R. Kelley of Anniston and Khalil Williams of Gadsden each received $2,000 in scholarship funds to use toward pursuing their degrees in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.
AHRI’s Rees Scholarship Foundation was established to honor the legacy of Ted Rees, a former president of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), a predecessor organization to AHRI, for his efforts to encourage HVACR manufacturers to provide support to strengthen career and technical school education nationwide.
This is the second consecutive year for two Gadsden State HVAC students to receive this award. 2013 award recipients were Michael Lafortune and Scott
Thompson. “Gadsden State is proud to have these students receive a nationally-awarded scholarship sponsored by the Rees Foundation. Such a feat confirms the quality of students who enroll in our technical programs and is proof that they can compete nationally. In addition, this is evidence of our superior instructors and the leadership they provide our students.” said Tim Green, dean of technical education and workforce development at Gadsden State. Green added that none of this would have been possible if the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program instructors, Tim Hardy and Eric Campbell, had not pursued and successfully achieved national certification for their program through PAHRA, the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation.
Each year, the foundation awards scholarships of up to $2,000 each to qualified students who are enrolled in an HVACR program at an accredited institution. The Foundation’s mission is to increase the professional qualifications of employees by promoting careers in the industry and greater technical expertise by assisting with the education, recruitment, and competency of future HVACR and water heating technicians. By awarding scholarships to the brightest students enrolled in an accredited technical school or college, the RSF will help the most talented candidates enter the HVACR and water heating industry and support AHRI members. Additionally, the Foundation is committed to having a positive impact on individuals’ lives by providing financial support to students in need and making the HVACR and water heating industry more attractive to high caliber students who would otherwise join other industries such as automotive, aviation, or information technology.
Eligible students of this prestigious award must be enrolled in an institutionally accredited school in preparation for a career as a technician in either residential air-conditioning and heating, light commercial air-conditioning and heating, or commercial refrigeration. The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program at Gadsden State is taught by Eric Campbell on the Ayers Campus and Tim Hardy on the Valley Street Campus.