2019-2020 RECIPIENTS

Chandler Bursey-Reece

Texas High School
Howard University

Chandler is a 2019 graduate of Texas High School. He was very active at his high school and some of his extracurricular activities included: Varsity football, piano, National Honor Society, Today’s Youth / Tomorrow’s Leaders, Texas Boys State 2018, Student Council, UIL Number Sense, UIL Calculator, UIL Math, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Calculus Club, and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. He is currently attending Howard University where he is majoring in Computer Science.


Davis Miller

Texas High School
University of Texas at Austin

Davis is a 2019 graduate of Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas. Throughout high school, he was very involved in TigerVision, Texas High’s Audio/Video Production class, attending three Student Television Network conventions and advancing to state in the SkillsUSA Digital Cinema Production contest. Davis was also a member of the National Honor Society, played junior varsity tennis, was a member of Model United Nations, and received the Eagle Scout award.  He is studying Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin in hopes of working in the film industry.


2018-2019 RECIPIENTS

Klaire Bentley

Allen High School
University of the Incarnate Word

Klaire is a 2018 graduate of Allen High School in Allen, Texas, and is a gifted athlete excelling in soccer, basketball, volleyball and track. Klaire pursued the Pharmacy Tech track through Allen High School, where she interned as a Pharmacy Technician. Her love for Math and her desire to own her own business have become her educational pursuits. Klaire attends the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX.


Makenzie Newton

New Boston High School
Texas A&M University

Makenzie is a 2018 graduate of New Boston High School where she participated in many different organizations such as the Future Farmers of America, Health Occupation Students of America, National Honor Society, 4-H, UIL, and band. She has begun her journey at Texas A&M University in College Station and is currently pursuing a degree in Animal Science with her sights set on veterinary school.

Jadra Young

Richardson High School
Texas Tech University

Jadra is a 2018 graduate of Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas where she graduated with Honors. Throughout high school, Jadra was a member of the National Honor Society, RISD Health Science Program, Student Council, A.V.I.D and the Varsity Basketball Team. She is now attending Texas Tech University and is a Pre-Nursing student. Her goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner.

2017-2018 Recipients

Kennedi Vessell

Cedar Hill High School
University of North Texas

My name is Kennedi Vessell and I’m a graduate of Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas. I graduate high school with a 3.4 GPA. I was also a part of the Cedar Hill Red Army Band. When I was a part of the band I was a section leader. During my high school career, I volunteered at Mansfield Methodist Hospital. Now I’m a freshman at the University of North Texas at Denton majoring in Fashion Merchandising. Once I graduate I’ll be working at a headquarter office for a major fashion company.


Olivia Vessell

Cedar Hill High School
University of North Texas

My name is Olivia Vessell and I graduated from Cedar Hill High School with a 3.4 GPA. Throughout my entire high school career, I was in the Cedar Hill Red Army Band as a trombone section leader. During the summers I would volunteer at the Mansfield Methodist Hospital and we would donate to the food pantry as well. I attend the University of North Texas at Denton majoring in Studio Art Drawing & Painting.


Tia Benson

James Bowie High School
University of Texas Arlington

My name is Tia Deloach Benson, and I am a 2017 graduate of James Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas where I graduated magna cum laude. I was a member of the National Honor Society, Advancement Via Individual Determination Program (AVID), Honors Symphony Orchestra, and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). In addition to my academic accomplishments, I am most proud to have a black belt in Taekwondo, raise awareness about teen dating violence, and being a violinist. I am a FCCLA National Leadership gold medal winner for a public service announcement video that I created about teen dating violence. The video has also been recognized by several violence awareness organizations within the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I started playing the violin in elementary school, and I am currently performing with the University of Texas at Arlington Symphony Orchestra. I have also performed with the TMEA All-Region Orchestra and the Arlington Youth Symphony.

I am currently a freshman at the University of Texas at Arlington, majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Music. Before getting involved in campus activities, I wanted to get adjusted to college life during my first semester, but I also feel it is important to learn about the many organizations that are available to students on campus. The Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Cyber Security Club, and the Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Program are notable organizations that intrigued my interests to get involved.


My future goals are to gain work experience through internships, and to obtain a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering with a focus in Cyber Security. I plan on becoming a Cyber Security Analyst; this profession establishes plans and protocols to protect digital files and information systems against unauthorized access, manages networks and intrusion detections.

2016-2017 Recipients

Catherine Hicks

Hooks High School
Dallas Baptist University

My name is Catherine Hicks and I am a 2016 graduate from Hooks High School were I finished Salutatorian. While attending Hooks I served as the varsity cheer captain, senior class vice president, student council president, national honors society vice president, Mu Alpha Theta honors math society president, and the Interact club executive council and founder.

During my time at HHS I was also involved in the drama program, tennis team, golf team, and had the opportunity to advance to state as a part of our debate team. Along with all of these accomplishments I was also voted on by my classmates to be crowned the homecoming queen, prom queen, most popular, most talented, most intelligent, and Miss HHS. While trying to decide where I wanted to attend college I applied all over the country and racked up over 500,000 dollars in scholarship money. Ultimately though my heart was determined to stay in Texas and God called me home to DBU. Now I am a student at Dallas Baptist University where I will graduate with my bachelors in Business Administration Management in May of 2018.

As a student at DBU I have become a member of the Business Society and the Women’s Thread Ministry. After completing my first bachelors in the spring of 2018 I plan on sticking around for another year to receive a bachelors in Christian Studies with a concentration in Christian Leadership. Hopefully I will then go to receive my master in Leadership and move on to work for the happiest place on earth; Disney World. My dream is to work as a manager in the parks so that I can be hands on with interacting with the families that visit Disney and can be a part of making their dreams come true.

In addition to my academic pursuits I am also on my way to walking across the Miss Texas stage this June as Miss Park Cities. I am a full time student and in full time pageant prepping. Through the Miss Texas Organization I have had the opportunity to complete hundreds of hours of community service and talk to different groups about topics that are important to me. I have spoken on the topics of bullying and fire safety education because I hold these two topics very near to my heart.

Alan Nino

Booker T. Washington High School
University of Oklahoma

My name is Alan Eduardo Nino and I am an 18 year old Hispanic male and a recent graduate from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

I am from Dallas, Texas and 1st generation to attend college. My education is something that I take extreme pride in. I always strive to expand my horizons and take in as many opportunities as possible. I have been motivated by many of my previous music educators, especially through their passion, it has inspired me to have the same passion for helping people to reach their goals.

For me, the decision on whether to pursue music was not a, should I or shouldn’t I question. It was a matter of trying to figure out how I could do it and be successful at the same time. I realized at a fairly young age that music was going to be something that I could not live without in my life. Somethings we choose in life and sometimes somethings choose us, I was just fortunate that I love what choose me. My goal is to be the best that I can be at my art and help others be able to be the best that they may be; therefore, I NEED to be able to be in an environment in which I can help those around me and grow myself.

I would love to be a professor of Music or a Conductor. I love helping people and I love music. To combine the two (2) and teach people how to love music as I, would just be amazing. To inspire somebody to strive to do more than just be “average” is something that is unparalleled. My ultimate goal is to share the way I approach music and to inspire people to do great things. Then one day maybe even be able to be a great conductor and give back to schools to help build up the music education for all students.

I hope to spread the way I approach music to professionals, and have them spread it as well, hoping more people can appreciate music and truly connect with it. Music has taught me to develop new practice habits and attainable goals. But most importantly I learned to never give up on my dreams and that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

2015-2016 Recipients

Barri Washington

Cedar Hill Collegiate High School
Cedar Valley College

Barri Washington is a 2015 graduate from Cedar Hill Collegiate High School, which is an early college high school. She finished high school with an Associate’s degree from Cedar Valley College and had the pleasure of serving on student council as Sergeant-at-Arms. Barri was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, honor society for Cedar Valley College, and was a National Honor Society member. She attends the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where she is studying Business Integrated Studies-International Business, Business Law and also plans to minor in Spanish.

Dalton Cook

Hooks High School
University of Central Arkansas

Dalton Cook is a graduate of Hooks High School. During his time at Hooks, Dalton became the Vice-President of the National Honor Society, and won a Texas state championship in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Dalton attends The University of Central Arkansas on a full ride from the Norbert Schedler Honors College. Dalton is on the debate team at UCA, and has won an Arkansas state championship in Team IPDA debate with his partner, Mark Matlock. Dalton is majoring in Political Science, and hopes to attend law school after graduating.

2014-2015 Recipients

Pamela Okolie

Health Careers High School
University of Texas San Antonio

Pamela graduated from Health Careers High School in San Antonio Texas. She is currently attending The University of Texas at San Antonio and is majoring in Public Health. She plans on attending medical school after graduating.

Kassandra Rendon

John Paul Stevens High School
University of Texas San Antonio

My name is Kassandra Rendon, and I am a graduate of John Paul Stevens High School, class of 2014. I am proud to say that I was senior class president and now continuing my education at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I am majoring in Psychology in hopes to one day obtain my doctorate degree.

I am aspiring to become a neuropsychologist, and am taking the first steps of doing so while currently enrolled in my first semester of college. I am a few weeks into the semester and have just adjusted to the college life style. It is not always easy to adjust, more less have the resources for support. It is through the assistance of the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation and committee that has made my adjustment much easier and less stressful.

I feel truly blessed to have been awarded this scholarship and appreciative of the committee for taking the time and effort to select me as one the recipients. It is such an honor to receive this award from a committee who has the passion to make a difference in a student’s education and who is devoted to better the foundation for future deserving students.  Not only has this award given me the support to further my education, but has been a motive to continue this path of achieving my goals and aspiring my dreams. Once again, thank you for supporting my education, for this shall carry me onto aspiring bigger and better things.

Chaumaryanne Lawson

Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School
Xavier University

My name is Chaumaryanne Lawson and I am a 2014 graduate from Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, the first all-girls public magnet school in the state of Texas. I graduated with honors on the distinguished graduation plan. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and I am the daughter of Keith and Chairessee Lowe.

I attend Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Louisiana. Xavier University is one of the top universities for graduating African American doctors. Although this is my first semester in college, I am currently classified as a sophomore with a Biology Pre-Med Major. I plan to use this major to become a pediatrician in the future. Presently, I am involved on campus in XU Emergent Leads, Chemistry Club, and Biomedical Honor Corps.
I would like to express my appreciation for receiving such a prestigious scholarship and show through my actions that I am more than pleased to be selected as a recipient this year.

2013-2014 Recipients

Kelly Burnett

Texas High School
Southern Methodist University

Coming soon…

Derrick Williams

Townview Magnet Center
Okalahoma University

Derrick Williams is a native of Dallas, TX and now a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. Following his dreams of working in public service, Derrick moved to Washington D.C. for an opportunity of a lifetime. In Spring 2017, he served in Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama’s office on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

He now is on staff at SmithBucklin Management Consulting Firm as a Public Relations Senior Associate and currently enrolled in his Masters program at Georgetown University. He will graduate with his Masters in Public Relations and Corporate communications in Spring 2020.

Elena Hubbard

Cinco Ranch High School
University of Mississippi

Coming soon…

2013-1989 Recipients

Amber Hubbard

Hooks High School
Okalahoma University

Hello, my name is Amber M. Hubbard, and I am a graduate of Hooks High School. I am the Valedictorian of the class of 2012. I am currently attending the University of Oklahoma where I plan to get a degree in Microbiology and a minor in Dance History.

At this time, I have only been in college for about two months, but it has been a great journey so far. I am a member of the Pre-med club at OU. This is a great organization that helps students prepare and get great opportunities that help with admissions to medical school. I am also a member of the Black Student Association and the Freshman Action Team at OU. These two groups bring students of the African American community together through various activities and events. As the year progresses I hope to advance my leadership skills in these groups and possibly join more.

Recently I received the opportunity to volunteer at the Center for Children and Families Inc. (CCFI). I work with children of all ages at a nearby school. CCFI’s mission is to provide a safe, fun place for kids to go after school. We try to be role models for the children, and be someone that they can trust.

This summer, I hope to go to Arezzo, Italy to study abroad. While there I will take organic chemistry and chemistry for wine culture. I will also get the chance to visit Rome and Florence, Italy on my stay there. This is a great opportunity that I am so blessed to be able to have.
After I graduate from the University of Oklahoma, I hope to go to medical school. As of now I want to be an internal medicine doctor and specialize in infectious disease. I love the thought of being able to help and heal people for the rest of my life. I know that I have a very long journey ahead of me, but with God’s grace, my hard work, and my determination, I believe that I will complete my journey.

I would like to express my gratitude and thanks for being chosen as a recipient of the Grace Fort-Gouldsby Scholarship. It is a very high honor, and I will try my best to fulfill the duty of being a chosen applicant.

Sarah Hurd

Frisco High School
Texas A&M University

My name is Sarah Hurd and I am a freshman Animal Science Major at Texas A&M University. I am so grateful to have been awarded the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship this year!

I am in the honors program here at Texas A&M combined with undergraduate research, which I intend to participate in. In high school, I was a two year drum major in the band and a two time All-State clarinet player. I continue playing the clarinet in the Wind Symphony here at Texas A&M. Also in high school, I was a member of FFA where I raised a lamb and apig. My pig went on to win second place in his class in the Collin County livestock show. I am becoming involved in a few clubs here at Texas A&M, the Saddle and Sirloin Club and the Pre-Vet Society.

I am focusing hard on my academics but I try to balance my time also with making new friends! I love being at Texas A&M. I could not have picked a better school to go to.

Jillian Jones

Booker T. Washington High School
Hampton University

Jillian Ashley Jones was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She is the eldest daughter of Mark Jones and Dr. Jill Waggoner-Jones.

She is a recent graduate of the esteemed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she studied theatre performance.

Jillian is now continuing her study of performance as a freshman student at the prestigious Hampton University, in Hampton Virginia. Her love for the theatre began at a very young age.

When asked in an interview why her love of theatre is so strong she said, “Being on stage is like an out-of-body experience, it is what I was created to do. Each time I get the opportunity to be on stage, I feel like a butterfly bursting out of my cocoon, taking flight, and showing the world my beautiful wings“.

Dennis Burchette Jr.

Hooks High School
University of Arkansas Fayetville

I am a graduate of Hooks High School in Hooks, Texas. Currently, I attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I am majoring in Biology with a minor in Spanish.

I would like to say how honored I am to have received the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship. I consider this scholarship to be of great importance to me, considering the reason it is awarded each year.

Though I am engaged in my first semester of college, the experience and opportunity has already been empowering. I am currently a member of the Black Student Association where my leadership is constantly growing. Also, I have been selected as one of only sixty-four freshmen (out of the 1,400 enrolled) to participate in a program called Fresh Hogs. This program has not only allowed me to meet many of the university’s Administrators, student leaders, and see how the university functions, but it has also allowed me to become a leader in the eyes of my peers.

I am a member of Colleges Again Cancer (CAC), which is an on campus organization that continues to educate and raise funds for cancer awareness and finding a cure for cancer. Because I like to be effectively involved in every organization that I join, I am always sure to give one hundred percent in everything that I do.

In the near future, I plan to study abroad through the university’s international study program. Through this program, I have intentions of studying in a country where I may broaden my cultural understandings and take courses that will support the completion of my Spanish minor.
After returning, I have plans on continuing at the University of Arkansas to complete the required undergraduate work, then apply to medical school. The many opportunities that are afforded at the University of Arkansas are keeping me very busy and attached to this great university.

I do plan, with my ambition, determination, and motivation, to become an International Pediatrician. Because of the enthusiasm that I have for medicine and the wellbeing of others, I did not come to this decision and life goal lightly. It has always been a personal goal to apply “service above self”. For this reason and my faith in God, I have decided to dedicate my life to serving others. Knowing this, I would like to extend a very heartfelt thanks to the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation for investing your time and faith in me and my goals.

Also, I want to thank my wonderful family for their love, support, and understanding of my hopes, dreams, and goals. Considering that I have much support surrounding me and my future, I know that I will succeed and will be able to help make the world a better place by giving back in every way possible.


Channing Toombs

Hooks High School
Lon Morris College

Hello, my name is Channing Merrel Toombs, and I’m the son of Evonda Benton. I’m 18 years of age and I graduated from Hooks High School June 4th, 2010. I now attend college at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, TX, where I’m a freshman studying business. My college experience has been pretty good so far and I am hoping for it to get even better.

I was a part of the Grace Fort Gouldsby Mentoring Program and I’ll have to say that it was helpful and I had fun participating in the program. The program helped me think more about what I wanted to do in my future after I graduated. It kept me focused and made me really think deep into what I really wanted to do in life. The mentor I had was nice, helpful, and best of all a woman that I‘ve been knowing for years since I was young. I would like to thank her for her everything she did to assist in my personal development and I would like to thank her for her time. The people in the program were nice and good people to be around. The encouragement was consistent and activities very beneficial.

I would like to say that I am very glad that I won the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship and would like to thank the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation for choosing me. This money is going to be very helpful and needed towards college. Once again I would like to thank the Foundation and hope it keeps succeeding in order to assist other students who wish to pursue a college degree.

Derek Hubbard

Hooks High School
Southern Methodist University

I am majoring in Corporate Communications and Public Relations with a minor in Spanish at Southern Methodist University (SMU).

This upcoming summer, I have plans to study abroad with SMU-in-London.
There I will take courses that are in accordance with my major.

I am excited for the experience to broaden my cultural experiences and learn more. At SMU, I am a Hunt Scholar. I am a member and a founding father of the Gamma Omega Colony of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. I currently serve as the Pledge Educator, and it is my job to educate new members or pledges in the lore of the fraternity.

This year, I am a Hilltop Ambassador. As a Hilltop Ambassador, I serve as a liason between perspective students and our admissions staff. I keep a weekly blog, I give weekly tours, and I also assist our admission counselors with student panels as well as events such as Mustang Days and Mustang Mondays. This opportunity has been very positive for me because I get to interact with students and families everyday. I am able to share my love for SMU with them in hopes they will join us at our institution.

Next, I am a member of Student Foundation (SF). SF is the organization that is responsible for putting on events such as Homecoming, Family Weekend, Celebration of Lights, Mane Event, and the Tate Lecture Series. This year, I served as the Candidates Coordinator on the Homecoming Committee. I was responsible for all of our king and queen candidates. Also with SF, I was nominated and selected to be a Student Ambassador. As a student ambassador it is my job to represent the student body at events with our Board of Trustees. I was fortunate enough to be heavily involved with President George Bush’s announcement about the vision for his presidential center a few weeks back. The event was held on our campus. I have had the pleasure of meeting President Bush and Mrs. Bush several times on campus. Most recently with SF, I was selected to be on the SF Board as Ambassadors Chair. Beginning next semester, I will be responsible for all Student Ambassadors.

Last semester I was elected to be a Dedman I Senator. I have served in that capacity all year. My constituents make up the largest population of students on campus. In the senate, I am a member of the scholarship committee, and we oversee the scholarship funds available for students. Finally, I was nominated to sit on the rules tribunal. My time in senate has been rewarding because I am able to have a positive impact on the university that I love so much.
I am so blessed to be at an institution that has helped to shape and mold me into the type of young man that I am today. I thank God daily for the opportunity to stretch my mind and to be a positive influence on the lives of other people. It is my sincerest wish to give back more to SMU than it has given me. I extend my deepest gratitude to you all for your continued prayer and support. It is greatly appreciated and needed. It has been said that “it takes a village to raise a child.” I am who I am today because I had a strong village helping to raise me. My parents have been my biggest inspiration, and they continue to push me to achieve more and reach greater heights. I know that with the help of God, my family, and you all, that there is no way I will not be successful. Once again, I say thank you for all that you do.

Tia Murphy

Texarkana College

Tia Murphy , the 2007-2008 Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation scholarship award recipient is a Sophomore at Texarkana College and also has a full time job working at Christus St. Michael Hospital.

“I am very excited about starting school again and getting one step closer to my goals. I really appreciate the support that this foundation has given me and I h ope that I have met the standards that this foundation is looking for. I really am thankful for everything that this foundation has done.

Tia Murphy


Antoinette Runnels

University of Central Arkansas

Antoinette Runnels, the 2006-2007 Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation scholarship award recipient is a Freshman at The University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas where she is majoring in nursing. She shares her college experiences and the goals she has established.

I am very pleased and humbled to be a Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation Scholar. I was aware that there was a scholarship named for a very outstanding woman from Hooks, Texas, Mrs. Grace Fort Gouldsby. While I did not have the privilege of having been her student, I believe I receive the benefit of her good teachings because of the many lives she touched, including my dad.

I am enjoying my experiences at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). I find my course work interesting and challenging and the professors quite engaging. I have had the opportunity to make many new acquaintances and spend time on one my favorite pass times, sports. I participate in intramural sports which afford me a break from studying and a chance to become involved with campus life.

I look forward to learning more about career opportunities in my chosen field of nursing. My background has prepared me for the challenges. As I stated to the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation, “ …with my patience, determination, and dedication, goals can be achieved.” I hope to make my family proud. I plan to continue the path of service to others and utilize my leadership skills to assist in worthwhile endeavors for persons of all age groups and circumstances. I would also like to thank the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation for the financial assistance and support. I hope to help others as I have been helped.

Best Wishes,

Antoinette Runnels


Haley Kyles

University of North Texas

Haley Kyles, the 2005-2006 Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation Scholar recipient is a Junior at The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas where she is majoring in business. She shares her college experiences and the goals she has established.

To begin, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Grace Fort Gouldsby Scholarship Foundation for selecting me as the 2005-2006 Scholar. It is a privilege to be among the ranks of other recipients who were deemed to have the ability and promise to not only pursue a college education to prepare themselves for their profession but also to represent the Foundation that was founded for such an exemplary role model, Mrs. Grace Fort Gouldsby. She was a teacher and friend to my parents and others she knew. I know that there were many worthy candidates and I hope to make this investment in pay benefit others as well.

Since high school I have been very active in college. I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma in the fall of 2005 and have loved every second of it. The first semester that I was eligible I ran for an office. I was elected corresponding secretary. While holding that office I was able to change the way that we do things to be more effective; changes that will help benefit the chapter for years to come. After my time was up in that office, I took on the great responsibility of intramurals chair. I am currently holding that office and loving every bit of it. I am able to get girls to become more active and have fun while working out with playing sports. We won the intramurals trophy under my leadership. Also, in Kappa, I am very active in our philanthropy, Reading Is Fundament program. We go around to local schools and help kids learn how to read – a community service that I feel is very effective and worth all the effort in the world. In addition to Kappa I am a very proud member of Young Conservatives of Texas. We not only try to inform the student body about what is going on in the political world, but try to get as many people as possible to vote. One of my goals is to attain a graduate degree in business and eventually take on a leadership position in a company which will prepare me for serving as an executive level manager.

I am really looking forward to the golf tournament and meeting everyone.

Thank You,
Haley Kyles

Arielle K. Gooden

Hooks High School
Texas A&M University

Arielle Kristine Gooden was born in Austin, TX on March 28, 1984 to Kevan and Wanda Gooden. As a child, it was apparent that she was gifted as she sat on the lap of an opera singer and mimicked her every sound on pitch. Over the years, she developed a love for music, among other things. She is a 2002 graduate of Hooks High School, and at the age of 21, she graduated from Oral Roberts University (ORU) with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor in Non-Profit Business. During her time at ORU, she served as a community outreach assistant, an assistant resident hall director, a member of Psi Chi Rho (psychology club), music ministries, and souls ‘a’ fire choir.

Her educational pursuits have been continual, as she attended Texarkana Cosmetology Academy in 2007 for Esthetics certification (skin care & makeup), and, most recently, has enrolled at Texas A&M University-Texarkana where she is a part of the Alternative Teacher Certification and Masters Program on a path to her Texas Teacher Certification and Master of Science in Education. Arielle’s personal philosophy of education is that it is not only academic, but it is also emotional, social, and physical. She will begin teaching Fine Arts and Music at a local elementary school in the Fall of 2008.

Stephanie Blakely

Hooks High School
University of Texas Austin

Stephanie Hearon Blakely is the 1989 recipient of the Grace Fort Gouldsby Foundation Scholarship Award. Since graduating from Hooks High School, she attended The University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1993. She later received her Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Dallas Baptist University in 1998.

Stephanie has shown that hard work and dedication to academics has strong benefits to career development.

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