September 23, 2022
A life cut short unexpectedly became the spark for making a difference in the community through the Tanner Adam Memorial Fund. The Hancock Campus of Pearl River Community College is one of the beneficiaries including a recent donation of equipment and supplies for the welding program.
Tanner was still in high school when a car accident ended his life on September 13, 2008. After navigating through a very dark time, his family and friends took action to memorialize his life while helping members of the community improve their lives.
“We were very fortunate to receive support from friends, family, and members of the community in our time of need,” said Trevor Adam, twin brother of Tanner, and PRCC graduate. “We wanted to make a difference in remembrance of Tanner and have a positive effect in the community.”
Scholarships from the fund have been given to a graduating high school student in Hancock County interested in metalworking and/or welding, areas that Tanner was exploring. However, the donations of equipment and supplies have a farther-reaching footprint as those are used by many students and community members coming for training.
“The $3,000 scholarship a student receives can cover most expenses to attend for two semesters so they attend PRCC without a burden,” said Dr. Raymunda Barnes, Vice President of Hancock Campus. “When they supply equipment, it’s not only used for our students doing credit hours but also workforce students coming here Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights to better themselves and get out of the job that they’re in to become a welder.”
Welders can earn an average of $40,000 with more experienced welders earning closer to $50,000 in south Mississippi. PRCC offers instruction through Workforce Training as well as Career Certificate, Technical Certificate, and Associate of Applied Science options.
TANNER ADAMS MEMORIAL FUND
From field trials to softball tournaments and recently a trail ride, the nonprofit organization has sought to find fun ways to raise the funds needed to continue making a difference in the lives of others. Since the start of the fund, just over $87,000 has been raised with just over half of that amount going towards equipment for programs and the remainder covering scholarships for deserving students.
Laura Adam, Tanner’s mother, is one of the officers for the fund and works closely with high school vo-tech instructors in metal and welding trades to identify students for the scholarships. Instead of looking at grades, the board looks at both need and character. Other officers include John Albert Evans, Lynn Martin, and Linne Searles.
“A kid that would not have had a chance in this world, that scholarship gives them the chance,” said Searles.
Future fundraising plans include making the trail ride an annual event and launching a golf tournament. Individuals and businesses can also support the fund through direct donations mailed to Tanner Adam Memorial Fund, 5091 Crescent Ridge Dr. Kiln, MS 39556.
Laura Adam said, “Without everyone’s support, this would not be possible.”