Yamaha sponsors $25,000 in scholarships for employee’s kids


Brad Mabry got a performance bonus at work. It was not based on his performance; it was because of how well his kids have done in school.

Two of his daughters were among the ten student scholarship award winners at Yamaha. Each winner had parents who work for Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation (YMMC), and received a $2500 scholarship. All told, in 2022 Yamaha is providing $25,000 in scholarship money to help fund college education. There have been 166 awards totalling $399,000 over the 20-year history of the program.

Taylor Mabry, a senior at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, has won three years in a row. Her sister Bria is a freshman at Agnes Scott College. Both are majoring in sciences with an eye toward the medical field.

The Scholarship Program at YMMC is funded by the company’s recycling efforts and designed to “recognize, encourage and promote community involvement and continued education,” according to company officials. It is open to any children or dependents of full-time employees with at least one year of service at the Newnan facility. An independent educator panel reviews applications and selects scholarship recipients

This year’s recipients also include Annie Copeland, University of Georgia; Anniston Dodson, Auburn University; Xander Estes, University of Georgia; Mekayla Franklin, Alabama-Huntsville; Shayaan Kabir, Emory University; Lauren McKay, University of Georgia; Avante Parks, Fort Valley State University; and Jaylin Wood, Georgia Southern University.

“They are really smart,” Mabry said matter-of-factly of his daughters, admitting that their win was not a huge surprise to him. He has four girls in all, including his oldest who has already graduated with honors from college and his youngest who is still in high school.

“One of the things I told them when they were younger was that school finishes after college, not high school,” he said. “That’s been in their head their whole life.”

That mindset is prompted to a great extent by a basic desire virtually every parent has for his or her child. “I want them to be way better than me,” he said. “I tell them that all the time. “I want all four of them to excel in what they’re doing."

Mabry recognizes the differences in his daughters’ educational aptitudes, calling Taylor a “studier” who is dedicated to putting in the time hitting the books and referring to Bria as a “prodigy” who can pick things up more quickly. He can’t recall either of them getting a B before college.

Have the Yamaha scholarships made a difference for his family? Anyone with a working knowledge of how much a college education costs these days is well aware that the answer is a resounding yes.

“I’ve yet to pay for books this year,” said Mabry. “I make some payments and stuff, but never books. The scholarship takes care of the books, which is a big help if you know the prices of the books.”

Mabry, a Lead in Assembly, has encouraged coworkers with sons and daughters in college to apply for the scholarship, having experienced firsthand how helpful it can be. “The scholarship is fantastic.”

Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America designs and assembles WaveRunners, ATVs, Side by Sides, and Golf Cars at the Newnan plant. One of Coweta County’s largest private employers, Yamaha is currently expanding the team, hiring another 100 contract employees and many professional positions. Most jobs with Yamaha start Contract at $18 per hour and are eligible to be full hires in 30 days. Details are at yamahajobs.com.

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