Inspired to give

Steven Gantt’s great-grandmother and Bryant White’s grandfather are no longer around — but the commitment they inspired to giving back would make them both proud.

Gantt and White both graduated from the Darla Moore School of Business at Carolina in 2014 and 2012, respectively, and both have created college scholarships under A. Bevy Inc. for students graduating from their high school alma maters.

“My great-grandmother Katie Lee Johnson had a huge influence not only on my life but on others in my family and in the community,” says Gantt, the youngest of nine children and the first in his family to attend college. “I honestly believe this lady would’ve given the shirt off of her back to anyone in need. Her selflessness stayed with me throughout my life.”

When Gantt decided to establish a scholarship in his great-grandmother’s name for a student at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School, he sought advice from White, his friend from business school who had already set up scholarships for students at Laurens High School.

“After my grandfather Ozell Kirk passed away, I got depressed and started questioning my purpose and my life,” White says. “What I realized is that life isn’t about what we have now, but what we leave behind, what we give back. This is the source of A. Bevy’s creation.”

While they were students at Carolina, White and Gantt had several conversations about community and of the importance of giving back. Those conversations turned into action just months after graduation. Gantt is employed by Amica Mutual Insurance, which matched his contribution to the inaugural scholarship. The scholarship was awarded to Cristal Gonzalez-Duarte, a graduating senior at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School.

“I knew that since I had the opportunity to go to college and make something out of my tenure there that I could reach back to my community and communicate one simple message to them: ‘You can do this, too, plus more,’ ” Gantt says.

White, who works as a professional DJ, established the nonprofit A.Bevy Inc. that now funds eleven $1,000-plus collegiate scholarships. He and Gantt both hope their efforts to give back so soon after college will inspire others to do the same — much like they were inspired by their forebears.

“Hopefully, my contribution will help someone else see the views in life that I have dreamt about ever since I can remember,” Gantt says. “I want to take it one step further and motivate people to discover new heights and chase dreams of their own.”

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