Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers 24, of Snellville, GA was 1 of 9 heroes who fell in the heat of battle while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Cpl. Ayers died of wounds suffered when their outpost was attacked by small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from enemy forces in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2008. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

The American Legion Riders of Loganville Post 233 are proud to provide the Cpl. Jonathan Ayers Memorial Scholarship. This annual scholarship is endowed from monies raised by the Legion Riders of the Loganville post and will benefit a deserving student from Walton or Gwinnett Counties with a $1000.00 scholarship.

The contest will be open to any high school senior who is attending a public, private, parochial, or home school in Walton or Gwinnett counties and who is pursuing higher education in an accredited college, university, or trade school. Award will be based on an essay contest focused on applied freedoms in America.

The essay contest will open in November and the award will be announced in April of of the following year.

2021-2022 Important Dates/Rules/Essay Prompt

Essay Prompt

The world is a far more connected and complicated place than it was when Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence. To this day, however, we still celebrate the notion that we are given a set of inalienable rights including “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.  The notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an essential element of personal liberty and freedom was well known even prior to 1776, as it had been written about extensively by the English philosopher, John Locke, during his lifetime.

Tell us how you think the “Pursuit of Happiness” has changed since the days of Locke and Jefferson.  What does it mean to you as a young person preparing to exercise for your own independence?


The contest is open to writers who are both residents of Gwinnett or Walton Counties in Georgia and are High School Seniors at some point during the contest period (November 30th, 2021 – April 1, 2022).

Essay Length

Essays should be 800-1000 words in length. Submissions that do not meet this requirement, or that exceed it, will be disqualified.


Essays must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time, April 1, 2022.


All essays must be the original work of the student whose name is listed on the submission. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.


Our Judges will evaluate essay submissions in a fair and unbiased judging system, where judges will all use the same criteria. Judges will be selected by the Legion Riders based on their backgrounds, education, writing, and the subject matter. Decisions of the judges are final.

Ownership and Use

The ownership of any submission remains the property of the writer, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant’s permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for The American Legion Post 233 and the American Legion Riders of Post 233 to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission.

Submission Details

Essays must be submitted via email to scholarships@gapost233.com and must include the Subject Line of Jonathan Ayers Memorial Scholarship Entry. Students should include their Full Name, Email Address, Mailing Address, and a contact Phone Number in the body of the email above the essay.