Waco: High school students awarded $57,000 in scholarships

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A group of Waco-area high school graduates now have some extra scholarship money to pursue their goals of post-secondary education.

(photo by: Matthew Ablon)

A banquet held at the Carleen Bright Arboretum on Wednesday honored ten graduates of the Leadership, Education and Development Program (LEAD Program), awarded the graduates a total of $57,000 in scholarship funds.

The LEAD Program pairs students with an adult mentor and takes students on in-depth trips to local businesses. Joe Nesbitt, the founder of the LEAD Foundation, says the program helps students connect with leaders in McLennan County and hopefully get them interested in a variety of career fields.

"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 $20,000 Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Amaya Martinez, who is graduating from Waco High School. She will attend Texas State University in the fall to study athletic training.

Waco High senior Samayim Davis received the $10,000 Distinction Scholarship, presented by The Magnolia Foundation, and will attend the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor to study nursing.

Kandice Graves, a La Vega High School student, received the $7,500 No Boundaries Scholarship from 1519 Surveying and Engineering and The Magnolia Foundation. She will attend Sam Houston State University to pursue a career in forensic science.

University High School student Rachel McCullough also received the $7,500 No Boundaries scholarship. She will begin her college career at Navarro College before transferring to the University of Texas at Arlington to study nursing.

Waco High student Kenisha Huitt received the $5,000 LEAD Scholarship. She will attend the University of North Texas to study broadcast journalism.

La Vega High student Ramon Gonzalez received the $2,000 Alton Davis Memorial Scholarship, and will attend McLennan Community College to study business and computer science.

Harmony Science Academy students Alan Espinosa and Sara McMullin each received the the $1,500 LEAD Merit Scholarship. McMullin will attend Texas State University to study nursing while Espinosa will study computer science at the University of Texas Dallas.

Midway High School student Shantavia Staples and La Vega High graduate Alyssa Seybert each earned the $1,000 LEAD Persistence Scholarship. Staples will attend Prairie View A&M University to study fashion design while Seybert will attend McLennan Community College to study exercise and sports science.

The LEAD Program is always looking for mentors. Anyone wanting to volunteer can contact the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.