More Than A Teacher Scholarship Winners

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At Smith Hulsey Law, we have close personal relationships with educators and understand the selfless work they do to help shape the lives of our youth. Each year we offer our More Than A Teacher Scholarship to students who share with us a story about a teacher or professor who has influenced their life and/or education. Below are our past winners:

2023 Winner: Johana Ilwor


Hello, my name is Johana Ilwor! I am from Athens, Georgia and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Georgia. My major is biology and I am hoping to enter the pre-med track and become an optometrist. My passion has always been science and I love learning different kinds of sciences, but my favorite is definitely biology. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies and TV shows and I also love to read books!

Reaction Statement:

“Receiving this scholarship has filled me with immense joy and gratitude, marking a significant milestone in my college journey. The financial support is not just a relief from the strain of educational expenses, but it’s a validation of the hard work I’ve put into my studies. This scholarship is a key that unlocks doors to opportunities that might have seemed out of reach. With this support, I can now concentrate more on my studies, fully immersing myself in the academic challenges and experiences that lie ahead. I am genuinely thankful for this opportunity, and I am determined to use this to achieve my goals and contribute positively to my academic and personal pursuits.”

2021 Winner: Deona Irby


My name is Deona Irby. I was born and raised in a small city in middle Georgia, called Forsyth. I am married with three girls. My family is a big influential part of my life, and they encourage and motivate me each day. I am currently enrolled at University of Phoenix in which I am obtaining my Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Teaching has been a passion of mine since the age of eight. I took a break from school in the past to raise my family, but now I have taken the necessary steps to continue with school and make my teaching dream a reality. I have an innate connection to children and becoming a teacher is one of the finest careers to provide the support that they need.

Reaction Statement:

“I am elated to be the winner of Smith Hulsey Law’s More than a Teacher Scholarship. I am a firm believer of faith and things happening for a reason. Winning this scholarship has affirmed that I made the right decision to re-enroll in college and become a paraprofessional until I get my degree and certification to teach. I can’t stop crying at this moment from happiness. I am truly blessed to have received this scholarship.”

2021 Winner: Rachel Hill


Hello! My name is Rachel Hill, and I am from Athens, Alabama. I am attending the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama. A little bit about me is that in my free time, I enjoy sewing and quilting. I am a part of the Honors College at UNA. Last year, I became a Math Fellow for a math class, but this year I have had the opportunity to also become a Math Tutor and Resident Advisor on Campus. I also have a cat named Bagheera.

Reaction Statement:

“I am extremely appreciative for receiving this scholarship. It made my day to receive it, and the first thing I did was call my mom and dad to tell them the great news. I texted the teacher that I wrote my paper about, and she was ecstatic about me winning. Her response to me let me know that I picked the best teacher to write about. It helps tremendously in completing my math and secondary education degree.”

Smith Hulsey Law

Smith Hulsey Law