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Clay Business Recognized For Volunteer Work With Local Students

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Clay Business Recognized For Volunteer Work With Local Students

Clay County’s Abney CPA firm has been named Middle Tennessee Volunteer Business of the Year for providing free FAFSA services to local students.

Owner Carol Abney said she gives her time and resources to the Clay County High School college boot camp. The group helps students complete financial aid and search for jobs.

“I’ll be honest I was shocked when I received this award, because there’s so many great businesses that do volunteer work in Nashville and other places,” Abney said. “For a business to get recognized in rural Tennessee is really something special to me.”

Abney said the want to help students of Clay County comes from her childhood. Abney said she had the grades to pursue higher education, but her family did not have the resources to support.

“My grandma raised me, and she didn’t understand about going to school, and I was very smart in school,” Abney said. “Everybody assumed a was going to college, but my little granny she just didn’t have the experience to help support me in doing that. Some people just don’t have the resources that others do, and I try to help those kids have those resources.”

Abney said she now tries to be a stepping stone for young people to further their education. Abney said going from a rural area to the university can be a challenge, but through the assistance, students manage the transition better,

“I can see that people are more comfortable,” Abney said. “I always tell students if they are apprehensive about going to school, I think going to community college is a great start. It’s kind of small, and it is a good stepping stone between going to a large university. Going to a large university is scary.”

Abney was recognized for the award Sunday at a conference in Franklin. Abney also provides resources and free services to small businesses and nonprofits in the local community. Employees are heavily involved with local committees and organizations including Upper Cumberland Tennessee Society of CPAs, Clay County Museum, Celina Park Foundation and the Clay County Educational Foundation.

Abney said it is important to her that rural people have a voice in these groups.


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