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Cairo, IL

Graduate Giving Back to His School


Graduate Giving Back to His School
By: Holly Brantley

Cairo, IL - Many people leave high school and never look back, not even for reunions. But not Jimmy Ellis, Cairo High class of 88'.

He's come back, to give back to a school he says gave him so much.

School leaders call his gift the Jimmy Ellis Vocational Excellence Award.

It's an annual scholarship for a senior who, like Ellis, plans to go into the automotive field.

Ellis says it's all about giving back. And, for the school, this scholarship marks the first time someone has.

"This is an area that has not really been focused on," said Ellis. "So what I want to do is give back to my community and hopefully help some child discover this vocation."

Ellis owns his own autobody shop in Cairo. He hopes the Scholarship will motivate students to chase their dreams. "It's really important for our community. To survive we must give back," Ellis said. "Hopefully this will start a trend."

School leaders couldn't agree more. "I was extremely touched when he came to me about it," said Principal, Tony Maltbia. "He feels he owes back and hopes to jump start a lot of other things and make positive changes."

"This is very important to me because I owe a lot to the Cairo School District. The Bible teaches us: 'To whom much is given, much is required.' The School district has given me a lot and this is my way of giving back," Ellis said. Ellis and Cairo school leaders can't wait for the day when they can present the first scholarship. That will be at Graduation this year.

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