Meet Nick West: UAH Student and Scholarship Recipient

The first time I met Nick West we were on a bus heading to Montgomery for a School of Choice conference. It was A brisk winter morning as we boarded the bus before sunrise in January.

Quickly assessing my seat, I noticed Nick in his Business suit. I was dressed in jeans, a sweater, and a scarf.  It made me feel under-dressed. I also noticed he was one of the youngest people on the bus which got my attention. I thought to myself, “he must be excited about this opportunity!“

Neither of us spoke to each other during the trip. In fact, most of the bus was quiet, some may have fallen asleep as the bus lulled us back into a somber trance.  The sun rose and began to welcome us to the city where many political decisions are made. Again, I noticed how quickly Nick disembarked the bus which firmed my conclusion that he was excited. Little did I know, that he was a guest speaker at the convention.

Wow! His words were powerful! His testimony of how the Alabama Accountability Act made a difference for him, his brothers, and ultimately his family. He spoke about his mother, a single mom trying to do the best for her children. All I could hear was how proud he was of her and how he wanted to make her proud as well! The convention center was packed.

Most everyone was standing and the applause was deafening. We got back on the bus and there he was, all smiles. I congratulated him on his outstanding presentation! Fast forward to November, we sat in my office and discussed so many things; where he would go to grad school, places he wanted to intern, his future, and his family.

Yet, what Impressed me so much was his perseverance to succeed and his love for his family. In my opinion, he is already accomplish so much for his young age.

I expect to keep in touch with this young man and I cannot wait to see what is next for this future leader!

Huntsville Botanical Garden Fairy Houses


Huntsville Botanical Gardens invites ALL ages to the educational program Fairy Houses:  Windows into Nature, presented by Renee Simmons Raney.  Raney is the author of Hairy, Scary but Mostly Merry Fairies: Curing Nature Deficit Disorder through Folklore, Imagination and Creative Activities.

Building these fairy houses gives children the chance to enjoy playtime away from technology while improving language and collaborative skills, awareness and observational skills as well.

Renee says, “Fairy houses are excellent tools for increasing observation skills. They become “windows into nature.” Thinking on a small scale inspires children to look at everything more closely, whether it is a leaf or a flower or a bug. Instead of looking at the forest as a whole, they begin to see all the diverse components that make up the forest floor, the canopy, and the creatures that inhabit it. There is a whole new world waiting in the woods and the garden! ”

Fairy Houses will be held Saturday, September 23 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Nichols Arbor and Garden.  Registration is required.

Members: Adults $15; Children $10
Non-Members: Adults $28; Children $18 (Price includes Garden Admission)
Fee includes presentation in the Arbor followed by fairy garden activities outside.

Contact the Education Department if you have questions:
Soozi Pline: 256-830-4447 Ext 252

Letter of Appreciation

ribbon cutting 23We recently received this letter from one of our recipient parents, and we were very excited to share!  As we bring many families the good news of the gift of education, we’re encouraged to begin finding new funding in the coming months!  

For more information on how you can help us give the gift of education, learn more on our Tax Credit page.


Dear Angela and

Rocket SGO Team/Donors,

You are appreciated!  Our family sincerely sends gratitude to you specifically for the scholarship award and for your perseverance to glean donors, review the tedious details of applications, and make the difficult decisions of whom is awarded.  We can imagine this is not an easy task.  Our eldest daughter was awarded, while the younger one did not make the list this year.  We can only imagine how challenging it is to chose the allocation of the resources.  So, as a parent of both a yes and a no- we sincerely thank you for doing everything you have to support the educational needs of our girls.


Our family

2017 Scholarships

ribbon cutting 32Every year we work hard to get our scholarship awards sorted out as quickly as possible, and this year was no different.

This year we received almost three times more applications than we can fund, and naturally we know this means that not everyone who applied will be able to receive a scholarship.

Unfortunately, and for the first time in Rocket City SGO history, most will not. Given the legal restrictions on scholarship award timing and the record-setting demand for scholarships this year, we are finally able to send this much-needed info!

Congratulations to all our returning students and their families and the additional 79 new students.  We are thrilled to be one small piece of your future.

Rocket City SGO To Host Grand Re-Opening at Huntsville West on July 26

July 17, 2017

Rocket City SGO To Host Grand Re-Opening at Huntsville West on July 26

Huntsville, Alabama – Rocket City Scholarship ​Granting ​Organization has announced that it will hold its Grand Re-Opening at Huntsville’s premiere co-working space at Huntsville West on Wednesday, July 26th.

Rocket City SGO has provided ​scholarships to North Alabama area children since 2013.  In 2016, Rocket City SGO collected over $1.1 million in donations that will provide scholarships to over 40 K-12 students throughout North Alabama.  As the scope of scholarship distributions have grown, Rocket City SGO’s needs made Huntsville West the perfect fit for future growth.

“We are excited to centralize our efforts at Huntsville West in an effort to better serve the community,” said Rocket City SGO President and Co-Founder Brad Garland. “We are thrilled to have special guest, Joe Newberry, Huntsville Madison County’s Chamber Chair join Rocket City SGO at our event and share his passion to make a difference in the community.”

As the leading collaborative coworking space in Madison County, Huntsville West is positioned to support Rocket City SGO’s efforts of continuing to help children launch their educational voyage and navigate their future.  

“Reaching mile stones that better serve our families and students is our primary goal at Rocket City SGO. Utilizing the co-working space at Huntsville West adds to our ability to support our community even better” added Executive Director, Angela Hawke. “Additionally, the partnership with Huntsville West strengthens our mission & presence where we live and work.”

The Grand Re-Opening event will take place on Wednesday, July 26th from 11:30AM to 12:30PM at 3001 9th Ave SW, Huntsville, Alabama 35805.  Refreshments will be served, and the winner of Rocket City SGO’s essay contest will be announced.

For more information, visit Rocket City Scholarship Granting Organization on Facebook, visit, or email ​


Editorial Contact for Rocket City SGO
Daniel Horton