JACKSONVILLE, FLA./ SEPTEMBER 05, 2020/ Ashley HomeStore announced the winners of the 2020 Inaugural Scholarship in memory of Jacob Jette. Annette Whitehurst, the daughter of an Ashley HomeStore employee, and Jak McCurdy, a retail sales associate with Ashley HomeStore, each received a $2500 check from the locally-owned, employee-owned and operated company to help with their higher-education expenses.
The scholarship program resulted from the tragic death of Jacob Jette, the 19-year old son of one the company’s long-time employees. “To keep my son, Jacob Jette’s name alive was a selfless act by my Ashley HomeStore family, for which I will forever be grateful,” said Jacob’s mother, Pei, who has worked as a visual merchandiser with the company for more than eight years.
“Nothing can replace the loss of a child,” said Chris Caprio, president of Ashley HomeStore, Jacksonville. “But we wanted to show Pei Jette and her family that we’re here for our employees and that they are never alone. The scholarship idea was born from a senseless act of violence. Each year we will issue it in honor or memory of someone who has made a significant impact on our Ashley HomeStore family.”
Alicia Whitehurst, whose daughter received the scholarship to help with expenses in chiropractic school, expressed her gratitude: “My daughter is in a season of her life where so much loss has taken place. In spite of everything, she remains focused and I have such a sincere appreciation to Ashley HomeStore for this scholarship blessing.”
Ashley HomeStore Retail Sales Associate, Jak McCurdy, said that the scholarship has inspired him to pay it forward and help others. “The scholarship means the world to me and relieves a lot of stress about how to pay for tuition while also working full time. I feel so blessed to be chosen for the scholarship and hope to one day return the gesture and help someone who is striving to better themselves,” McCurdy said.
A suspect in the murder of Jacob Jette was apprehended and is currently awaiting trial.
The SFTF Scholarship Program awards two $2,500 scholarships annually to students entering an accredited post-high school learning environment (ie, technical college, trade school, junior college or traditional four-year degree seeking-students) based on demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, and an express interest in pursuing a particular passion. Eligible students must be a current Ashley HomeStore-Jacksonville/Brunswick employee with at least 12 months of full-time employment, or the immediate child or grandchild of an eligible employee. To learn more, go to http://www.ashleyjaxcommunity.com.