WACO, Texas – This year, high school students in the Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) program were presented scholarships at home!
Last week, the Greater Waco Chamber team as well as members of the LEAD committee caravanned to the houses of eight students who earned the top LEAD scholarships this year. Additionally, the other 12 students were celebrated virtually with their families and the LEAD committee in attendance.
“While we couldn’t have the banquet due to the current pandemic, I believe that it’s still vital to celebrate these students,” said Rachel Martinez, program director.
The annual $20,000 Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Kimberly Hernandez, a Waco High School graduate who will be attending the University of Houston to study business and architecture.
This year we are also proud to announce a new scholarship presented by Drs. Jake and Soo Battle: The Battle Family No Boundaries Scholarship. As a new mentor this year, Dr. Soo Battle fell in love with the program.
“I was so glad to join the LEAD Program this year as a mentor,” she said. “As soon as I heard about the program, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I also immediately went home and asked my husband if he wanted to sponsor a college scholarship from our family. As physicians, we know the importance of having a college degree, and we were both excited to help someone further their academic goals in college. We’re so proud of Isabella Dominguez and congratulate her on her success at Midway. She’s going to do great things in the future, and we’re glad to play a small part in helping to make that happen!”
The $2,500 Battle Family No Boundaries Scholarship was awarded to Isabella Marie Dominguez, Midway High School graduate who will attend Texas Women’s University to study dentistry.
The remaining $44,000 was awarded to 18 other scholarship recipients.
- Waco High School graduate Aaliyah Dilworth received the $10,000 LEAD Distinction Scholarship. Dilworth will attend the University of North Texas to study political science.
- University High School graduate Cassady Copas received a $5,000 LEAD Ambassador Scholarship. Copas will attend the Massachusetts College of Pharmacology and Health Science to study to become a doctor.
- University High School graduate Hannah Ruby received a $5,000 LEAD Ambassador Scholarship. Ruby will attend Texas A&M University to study psychology.
- University High School graduate Alannah Thornton-Sabido received a $2,500 No Boundaries Scholarship. Thornton-Sabido will attend the Texas A&M University to study human resources.
- Waco High School graduate Ashtien Willis received a $2,500 No Boundaries Scholarship. Willis will attend Texas State Technical College to study welding to become a lineman.
- Harmony Science Academy graduate Andrew Logan Rosas received the $2,000 Alton Davis Memorial Scholarship. Rosas will attend Texas A&M University to study architecture.
- Midway High School graduate Glenda Gutierrez received a $2,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Gutierrez will attend the University of North Texas to study emergency management and planning.
- Waco High School graduate Ashley Wilburn received a $2,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Wilburn will attend the University of North Texas to study interior design.
- La Vega High School graduate Jeffrey Nickerson received a $2,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Nickerson will attend Lees-McRae College in North Carolina to study psychology.
- Waco High School graduate Dai’Shawn Fisher received a $2,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Fisher will attend Howard Payne University to study architecture and engineering.
- Midway High School graduate Castiderra (CJ) Calhoun received a $2,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Calhoun will attend the University of Oklahoma to study kinesiology.
- La Vega High School graduate Braxton Zilem received a $1,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Zilem will attend the Tarleton State University to study theater education.
- University High School graduate Jolyssa Lewis received a $1,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Lewis will attend the University of Texas at Arlington to study nursing.
- Midway High School graduate Alexis Aguilar received a $1,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Aguilar will attend Tarleton State University to study business management.
- Waco High School graduate Daja Davis received a $1,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Davis will attend McLennan Community College to study business management.
- Waco High School graduate Keith Guillory received a $1,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Guillory will attend Howard Payne University to study mechanical engineering.
- Midway High School graduate Reaghan Ridge received a $1,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Ridge will attend Temple College to study dentistry.
- Waco High School graduate Destiny Bouye received the $1,000 Reaching Back As We Climb Scholarship. Bouye will attend Texas A&M University at Prairie View to study nursing.
“This year we reached a new record for scholarship money that we’ve been able to award,” said Martinez. “Each year, LEAD changes the life trajectory of our students and the scholarships we’re able to award are a big part of that.”
The LEAD program is a business and education partnership that pairs high school students from Waco, University, Robinson, Rapoport Academy, Harmony School of Innovation, La Vega, Connally, Lorena, Midway and the Methodist Home 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. Through this program, the Greater Waco Chamber hopes to motivate these students to graduate high school and pursue higher education, which in turn ensures greater employability and quality of life.
Since 2010, scholarships totaling $398,000 have been awarded to students.
The LEAD program launched in 2005 with one mentor and five students. This year, the program included 99 mentors and 209 students.
The Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship is sponsored by Central National Bank and First National Bank of Central Texas. Other scholarship sponsors include the Brazos Masonry, BKD CPAs & Advisors, Battle Family, Davis Family, Englander dzignpak/PCA, Magnolia Foundation, McLennan Community College, Tymco and Workplace Benefits Solutions.