Pride of the Pine Belt: A man of character

This week's "Pride of the Pine Belt" features a recent high school graduate who, throughout his academic career, has achieved great success and a full scholarship to college.  This young man demonstrates the importance of good character everyday and plans to bring that same enthusiam with him to college.

Eric Anderson is a red cross volunteer who gets lots of support and encouragement from his big brother of nine years, John Blanks.

"Being involved in the big brother and big sister's program has really helped me a lot because John has always been their for me; my family has too," says Anderson, "but it's always great to have someone who is there for me."

Blanks agrees.

"We have been matched since he was nine years of age and ever since I have known Eric, he has been the most kind and respectful young man anyone could imagine," he says. "He's always thinking of other people rather than himself."

Which may be why Anderson received a $1000 character scholarship to college from his high school, the Piney Woods School.

"I really didn't know I was going to get it, it was a real surprise to me and my family," he says.

However, the scholarship was not a surprise for John Blanks, who attended Anderson's graduation ceremony.  "When my wife and I were attending his graduation at Piney Woods School and they announced the type of award they were about to give out I said to myself well the are talking about Eric."

Anderson also received a full scholarship to Talladega College, where he plans to study pre-law and criminal justice.  He would ultimately like to become a police officer.  "I feel as if I've seen a lot in my life and if I become a police officer, I can straighten some things out you know and help society," he says.