ABLA AWARDS $6000 TO LOCAL GRADUATING SENIORS AS RECIPIENTS OF THE
2017 VIRGIL C. LOTT SCHOLARSHIP
Kirida McDaniel attends John H. Regan High School and is the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship. Kirida has excelled academically with a cumulative 3.6 GPA and ranks 11th amongst her graduating class of 260 students. She has also excelled in athletics earning female wrestler of the year and enjoys knitting and crocheting. Kirida has faced a number of challenges in her life; however, she unanimously impressed the scholarship committee with her positive attitude, perseverance and ability to focus on her education. Kirida has been accepted at and plans to attend Texas A&M where she will major in biomedical engineering and participate in the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets program.
Innocent Winkongo attends Eastside Memorial High School and is the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship. Innocent has excelled academically with a cumulative 3.4 GPA and is ranked 20th amongst his graduating class of 139. Innocent enjoys sports and has played football, soccer and ran track throughout his high school career. He has a passion for singing, music, and theater. His dream is to work as a performing artist and he has won several competitions and auditioned for America’s Got Talent Season 12. However, Innocent is a young pragmatist, so he also plans to major in nursing as a back up to his dreams of becoming a performer. Innocent moved to the United States four years ago with his older brother from Conga, Africa to pursuit a better life. He has been accepted at Texas State University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Innocent’s first school choice is Texas State; however, his final decision of where he will attend college will be primarily impacted by the amount of financial aid offered to him by each school.
Hepsiba Barar attends John H. Regan High School and is the recipient of a $1,500 scholarship. Hepsiba has excelled academically with a cumulative 4.16 GPA and ranks 2nd amongst her graduating class of 260 students. In addition to focusing on academics, Hepsiba’s also participates in volleyball, soccer, and the German Club. Hepsiba was born in Kenya and moved to the United States when she was four years old and most recently moved from Virginia to Texas less than one year ago, therefore; she does not qualify for in state tuition thus increasing the cost of post-secondary education for her and her family. She has been accepted at and plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington and she plans to major in biomedical science and subsequently attend medical school. She would ultimately like to use her education to focus on solving major medical issues in Kenya.
Elisha Franklin attends McNeil High School and is the recipient of a $250 scholarship. Elisha has achieved academic success maintaining a cumulative 3.1 GPA while playing volleyball and participating in extra-curricular activities such as Girl Scouts and Meals on Wheels. Elisha also has a passion for working with children and teaching preschoolers at her Community Church. She has been accepted at and plans to attend the University of North Texas where she will major in biology and subsequently attend medical school in pursuit of her dream to become a pediatrician.
Christian Burgess attends East Austin College Prep and is the recipient of a $250 scholarship. Christian maintains a cumulative 3.3 GPA and is ranked 13th amongst his graduating class of 70. Christian plays basketball, is a drummer and was a junior counselor at Sunshine Camp where he enjoys working with children. He has been accepted at and plans to attend Blinn Junior College where he will major in graphic design with a minor in communications. Christian has also been accepted to Prairie View A&M where he plans to attend after Blinn to complete his undergraduate degree.
As committee members who have participated on the scholarship committee in varying roles with some members serving the on the committee for over 25 years, we are proud to say that ABLA has provided close to $100,000 in scholarships over the last 30 years. We urge and humbly request that all ABLA members make a donation to this very worthy cause by participating in one or more of the following ways: 1) as a golfer in the upcoming golf tournament on June 3rd at the Golf Club at Star Ranch; 2) by pledging funds as a sponsor at the golf tournament; and/or 3) making a donation to the ABLA Foundation for the Virgil C. Lott Scholarship.
Please remember that “It takes a village to raise a child” and every dollar counts! Thank you to the ABLA membership for being a part of the village and providing this awesome resource to help develop the next generation of leaders.
This year’s scholarship committee consisted of Sylvia Hardman-Dingle (Committee Chair), Velva Price (Committee Vice-Chair), April Griffin (President), Robynn Fletcher (Immediate Past President) and Dominque McLeggan-Brown (Member).