It All Started Here … Grant Handley

Published on October 29, 2018

Retail Scholarship Presentation

From left are: Dr. Mary Way Bolt, Cecil College President; Maddy Voytek, Legislative and Membership Director for the Maryland Retailers Association; Grant Handley and Gina Handley, students at Cecil College; and Peter Franchot, Comptroller for the State of Maryland.

NORTH EAST, Md. – There are many ways to earn a scholarship as Cecil College freshman Grant Handley proved when he submitted an entry to the Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week Contest this past summer. Handley’s quick thinking and sharp wit put him in the spotlight recently when he was awarded a $2,500 scholarship during a ceremony in the lobby of the Milburn Stone Theatre, located on the North East Campus of Cecil College.

Presenting the official scholarship to Handley was State of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, Cecil College President Mary Way Bolt, and Legislative and Membership Director for the Maryland Retailers Association Maddy Voytek.

“The Social Media presence and interest Grant and his sister (Gina) generated through the image and humorous caption about saving a buck is what we are honoring here today. You and your sister are shining examples of young people who are going to get educated here, live here, and start a business here in Cecil County and the State of Maryland,” said Franchot. Comptroller Franchot went on to praise the work of community colleges across the state and how Cecil College is a shining example of training a viable workforce.

The Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week contest was launched by the Comptroller’s Office and Maryland Retailers Association (MRA) back in July to spark interest in the Aug. 12-18 tax-free shopping week through the use of social media. Participants were encouraged to snap a picture or video that incorporates the theme of “Maryland,” write a creative caption and use #shopmdtaxfree during Tax-Free Week to submit an entry on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“Grant is an example of the great work our students perform to give back to the community. He inspires others to make Cecil County an exceptional place to live. We, as a college, have been serving students and communities, not only in Cecil County but throughout the region,” said Dr. Bolt.

Handley won first prize by staging his and himself in front of the blue elk on the corner of Bridge Street and Main Street in Elkton. They are wearing Maryland themed apparel that included even Maryland State flag socks. Their winning caption was, “Thanks to Maryland Tax-Free Shopping Week – we can save a few bucks.”

“We looked nuts. It was around three o’clock in the afternoon and cars were flying down the road. While my dad was taking the photo of us in front of the elk, I am sure people were looking at us saying, ‘what are they doing?’ We were there holding shopping bags and were dressed in all our Maryland gear. We must have looked crazy,” said Handley.

“The way you were promoting shopping locally as a Millennial and posting it out to your friends was impressive. The post shows you out there making a statement about shopping locally with that catchy phrase driving home the message. I want to say kudos to putting your sister in that photo and making it about the entire community,” said Voytek.