LEAD Program Awards $40,500 in Scholarships - Waco Chamber
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LEAD Program Awards $40,500 in Scholarships

LEAD Scholarship(Photo L-R: Mercedes Herring, Desiree’ Kuykendall, Sara White, Carnealus Manning, Joe Nesbitt, Arexy Deleon, Zaira Lara, Chrystazia Alford, Alexandria Monroy)
WACO, Texas – High school students within the LEAD (Leadership, Education and Development) program attended their year-end recognition banquet Wednesday, May 24 at the Waco Convention Center, where approximately $40,500 in scholarships were awarded to eight students.
The annual $20,000 Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Alexandria Monroy, a University High senior student who will be attending the University of Texas to study accounting.
“The LEAD banquet has grown tremendously since it began 10 years ago. The highlight is still the moment we award the $20,000 Bradley Ray Hulse scholarship, but the whole night is designed to celebrate the seniors who are graduating this year,” said Joe Nesbitt, LEAD founder, mentor and program sponsor. “But knowing that many of these students will be the first generation in their family going on to higher education – and that we have the honor of helping some of these students achieve their dreams through the scholarships – is part of what makes this night so special.”
The remaining $20,500 was awarded to seven other scholarship recipients.

  • Waco High student Carnealus Manning received the $7,500 No Boundaries Scholarship, presented by 1519 Surveying & Engineering. Manning will be attending Paul Quinn College to study Kinesiology;
  • University High School student Arexy Deleon received the $5,000 LEAD Ambassador Scholarship and will be attending Texas A&M University to study Landscape Engineering/Civil Engineering;
  • Midway High School student Chrystazia Alford received the $3,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship and will be attending Prairie View A&M University to study Nursing;
  • Waco High School student Mercedes Herring received the $2,000 Alton Davis Memorial Scholarhsip and will be attending McLennan Community College before transferring to Texas State to study Social Work;
  • Waco High student Sara White received a $1,000 LEAD Mentor Scholarship and will be attending Texas A&M University to study Education and Human Development/Special Education;
  • Waco High student Desiree’ Kuykendall received a $1,000 LEAD Mentor Scholarship and will be attending Stephen F Austin State University to study Kinesiology;
  • University High School student Zaira Lara received a $1,000 LEAD Mentor Scholarship and will be attending McLennan Community College before transferring to Tarleton State University to study Nursing.

Since 2010, scholarships totaling $181,000 have been awarded to students, and this is the first year that more than $40,000 will be awarded in a single year.
The LEAD program is a business and education partnership by the Greater Waco Chamber, which connects local high school students with business mentors.
The LEAD program launched in 2005 with one mentor and five students. Ending in the 2017 school year, the program included 83 mentors and 169 students.
LEAD pairs Waco Independent School District, Rapoport Academy, Harmony Science Academy, La Vega and Midway high school students with business leaders to foster mentoring relationships that educate and expose students to various business fields. By improving the students’ knowledge of higher education and potential career paths they expand their goals for their future. LEAD hopes to motivate students to graduate high school and pursue higher education, which in turn ensures greater employability and quality of life.
The Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship is sponsored by Central National Bank and First National Bank of Central Texas.

About the Greater Waco Chamber:
The Greater Waco Chamber is a business leadership organization that advances a progressive and visionary agenda for economic growth and quality of life. The Chamber prepares and markets Greater Waco for the businesses and jobs of the future and enhances the quality of life of the community by promoting strategic development. For more information, visit WacoChamber.com.

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