Judge Horace Johnson

Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. presides over a bond hearing in Newton County Superior Court on June 7, 2018, in Covington, Ga.

COVINGTON — Six students from Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties received the Horace J. Johnson Jr. Beyond the Bar Scholarship.

The Beyond the Bar Foundation awarded the $1,000 scholarships to Chad Helton, Zoe Mayo, James Rhee, Natalia Sanchez, Gabrielle Wood and Terrell Wright.

The New Rock Legal Society and the bar associations of Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties joined formed the foundation in 2019 as a way for local attorneys to give back to youth in the three counties. The scholarship was renamed in memory of the late Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr., who died in July 2020.

Johnson was a Superior Court judge in Newton and Walton counties from 2002 until his death.

“We had an increased number of stellar applications this year and we were impressed with the level of excellence in the students competing for the scholarship,” Judge Cheveda McCamy, the foundation’s president, said.

Scholarship recipients included:

  • Chad Helton, a Social Circle High School senior. He will graduate with honors next month and will attend Georgia College in the fall.
  • Zoe Mayo, a top-10 graduate of Newton High School, plans to attend Spelman College.
  • James Rhee is an honor graduate of Heritage High School. He plans to attend Boston University.
  • Natalia Sanchez is the salutatorian in the Alcovy High School Class of 2021. She plans to attend the University of Georgia.
  • Gabrielle Wood is the salutatorian in the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology Class of 2021. Wood plans to attend Howard University.
  • Terrell Wright, a Walnut Grove High School senior. He plans to attend Mercer University in the fall. Wright is a student columnist for The Walton Tribune.

“These students have outstanding academics and extracurricular activities,” McCamy said. “We had a committee of five veteran lawyers who reviewed the applications and we were blown away by these students’ essays and commitment to public service.”

To learn more about the scholarship or receive an application for next year, contact btbscholarship@gmail.com.

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