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Leadership, Education & Development (LEAD)

The LEAD program is a business and education partnership that pairs high school students from Waco, University, Rapoport Academy, Harmony School of Innovation, La Vega, Lorena, Midway, Connally and Robinson school districts 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. The Greater Waco Chamber hopes to motivate these students to graduate high school and pursue higher education, which in turn ensures greater employ-ability and quality of life.

The LEAD program is in its 13th year with a 100 percent graduation rate with all students who have gone onto higher education. Currently, there are 197 students in the program and 93 mentors.

Watch to Find out how to get involved!

Scholarship Opportunities

Every year, LEAD awards the Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship to a senior in the program. This $20,000 scholarship is awarded to a LEAD student who exemplifies what the LEAD program stands for. The scholarship is awarded at the annual banquet at the end of the school year.

Congratulations to the 2019 scholarship recipients!

The annual $20,000 Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Amaiya DeLeon, a Midway High School senior student who will be attending the University of North Texas to study music education and music performance.

This year we were excited to present a new LEAD alumni-sponsored scholarship. Ashley Phillips, a 2008 graduate of LEAD and Waco High School, created the $500 Reaching Back As We Climb scholarship. She currently resides in Austin, Texas and is a supply chain planner at General Mills. During the LEAD banquet, Phillips presented the Reaching Back As We Climb scholarship to Waco High student Armando Barry. Barry will be attending the University of North Texas to study sports journalism.

The remaining $36,000 was awarded to 14 other scholarship recipients.

  • University High School student Ximena Reynoso received a $5,000 LEAD Distinction Scholarship. Reynoso will be attending Texas A&M University to study political science.
  • Waco High School student Halee Wise also received a $5,000 LEAD Distinction Scholarship. Wise will be attending Prairie View A&M University to study to become a physician’s assistant.
  • Waco High School student Evelyn Vallejo also received a $5,000 LEAD Distinction Scholarship. Vallejo will be attending the University of Texas at Arlington to study sports medicine.
  • Waco High School student Elena Perez also received a $5,000 LEAD Distinction Scholarship. Perez will be attending the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to become a physician’s assistant.
  • Waco High School student Tilynncia Grant received a $2,500 No Boundaries Scholarship. Grant will be attending Texas State University to study nursing.
  • Waco High School student Christopher Esqueda also received a $2,500 No Boundaries Scholarship. Esqueda will be attending Trinity Valley Community College to study business management.
  • Waco High School student Hannah Clayton received a $2,000 Alton Davis Memorial Scholarship. Clayton will be attending Huston-Tillotson University to study computer science.
  • Midway High School student Xavier Abalos received a $2,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Abalos will be attending Texas Tech University to study law enforcement.
  • University High School student Nayeli Guerrero also received a $2,000 LEAD Merit Scholarship. Guerrero will be attending McLennan Community College and will transfer to Tarleton State University or Midwestern University to study dentistry.
  • University High School student Lyric McGowan received a $1,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. McGowan will be attending Lamar University to study speech pathology.
  • Midway High School student Jamaine Lopez also received a $1,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Lopez will be attending McLennan Community College and transfer to the University of Houston to study business and entrepreneurship.
  • Waco High School student Nakarri Vincent also received a $1,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Vincent will be attending McLennan Community College and plans to transfer to McMurry University to study kinesiology.
  • Midway High School student Cashon Lewis also received a $1,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Lewis will be attending Angelo State University to study criminal justice.
  • Waco High School student Tira Keseya Evans received a $1,000 Alton Davis Memorial Scholarship. Evans will be attending Concordia University to study nursing.

For more information about LEAD or to volunteer, please contact Rachel Martinez at 254-757-5633 or email committee chair, Joe Nesbitt.