HIGHLANDS Dr. Dennis Brown, president of Lee College, was the featured speaker at an awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Highlands Community Center. The event was the award of 15 scholarships, in the amounts of $1500 and $2500, to students that had outstanding applications, grades, and recommendations in their schools.
Receiving the scholarships were students from Highlands and Crosby, and Chinquapin schools. Dr. Brown gave a motivating talk, about the value of higher education in todays marketplace, and how education can make the difference between a job and a career that would be life fulfilling. He also exhorted the young graduates to continue their education now, as breaks with the intention of finishing higher education later often fail.
Brown also touched on the advantages of Lee College, some of the awards and advanced programs they offer, and new initiatives in Early College at the high school level. Before becoming president at Lee College in February, Dr. Brown had previously been a vice president of instruction at El Paso Community College, and involved in creating six early college high schools. He left the audience with the thought Never settle for less than the Goal you set for yourself.
Scholarships were given out by Rotary Chairperson Larry White, with some thank you comments from Dane Listi. Listi had been in charge of this years Rotary Chili Feast in February, where the Rotary Club raised most of the money that funded these scholarships. He made a point of naming and thanking the sponsors of the Chili Feast event.
Dr. White said that the club was awarding 15 scholarships this year, amounting to almost $30,000. This continued a tradition that has gone on for almost 40 years. White introduced the ten people on his committee that reviewed applications, and made the awards based on grades, activities, essays, recommendations and need.
Receiving scholarships from Goose Creek Memorial High School were Elyssabeth Dunn, Miesha Frank, Valeria Gomez, Zachary Houchins, Mary Rosser, Amanda Chavez, and Shelby Barnett. As they received their award, each student was asked to say a few things about themselves, and their plans for the future.
Receiving scholarships to continue their college education were Dianna Muldrow, Melanie Muldrow, Amy Brewer, Crystal Chavez, and Julie Burns.
Each year Rotary gives special named scholarships, commemorating Rotarians who had outstanding records of service to the community and to Rotary. This year, the Dr. W. L. Herndon DDS scholarship was presented by his daughter and past Rotary president, Patricia Scott, to Taralyn Hortman of Goose Creek Memorial High School and its Interact club.
The named Pat McPhee Scholarship was presented by his widow, Barbara McPhee, to Chase Wells of Crosby High School.
The named Jay E. Bird Scholarship was presented by his classmate, Rotarian Weston Cotten, to Erick Martinez of Chinquapin School.
Over one hundred Rotarians, students and their parents attended the dinner and ceremony at the Highlands Community Center.