The EPISD Education Foundation made a stop at every senior awards assembly this spring to award $92,000 in scholarship money to the Class of 2017.
The $92,000 includes 25 scholarships sponsored by Renaissance Learning. Three scholarships – the Coach Robustelli Memorial Scholarship, the Genevieve Gonzalez Scholarship and the Ann Yerby Memorial Scholarship – are being awarded on behalf of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. All scholarships are for $1,000.
Irvin and Jefferson high school also awarded the Coach Archie Duran Memorial Scholarship at their respective awards assembly to honor the coach who played a vital role at both schools. The Duran Memorial Scholarship is one of three awarded by the Irvin Alumni Association for Irvin students.
“We are proud to give back to our students, allowing them to continue their education and build on the foundation they have already established in EPISD,” said Russell Wiggs, EPISD Education Foundation. “We are grateful for our partnership with Renaissance Learning and their gift of $25,000 which allows us to give 15 more scholarships than last year.”
Bowie High senior Leslie Llamas proudly accepted her scholarship from Wiggs at her senior awards assembly.
“I really appreciate it,” said Llamas, who will be a mechanical engineering student at UTEP this fall. “My parents didn’t have enough money to pay for my tuition or books so this is very helpful for me to get my degree.”
Bowie counselor Melissa Arriola said the EPISD Education Foundation scholarship has a special significance to students.
“Our kids try so hard and they really look forward in particular to those scholarships because they’re getting something from the District that they’ve been a part of forever,” she said.
At Franklin’s assembly, Emily O’Rourke stood tall in her purple top 10 percent gown. She received the Renaissance Learning scholarship for earning the highest score from the scholarship reviewers at her campus.
“It’s so exciting about it. I’m honored to have this opportunity,” O’Rourke said. “After all my hard work in high school, to get this solidifies all that hard work.”
The Foundation scholarship is one of many O’Rourke has earned to help pay for her tuition at the Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology this fall.
“All the scholarships make a difference even though some are bigger, some are smaller,” she said. “There are so many costs in college, so it all helps a ton.”
The Foundation scholarship is one of two scholarships O’Rourke’s classmate Patrick Daw received to pay for his education at Texas A&M to purse a business degree.
“I cannot be more honored because I’ve been with EPISD since kindergarten at Polk, Tippin then Hornedo and now Franklin,” he said. “I’ve had a great education.”
Foundation board members joined with the recipients at their respective awards assembly to congratulate the students. Board of Trustee Bob Geske, who also serves on the Foundation board, congratulated the eight Bowie recipients at their awards assembly on Tuesday.
“Our Foundation helps our students go to college,” Geske said. “One of our goals as a Trustee is for our students to go to college and get a post secondary education. This helps immeasurably.”
Below are the scholarship recipients: