Way to go Sam Houston Seniors!
It was a beautiful start to the morning at Sam Houston High School as seven seniors paraded through a flood of cheering staff and purple and white décor. The students weren’t just walking down any hallway. They were walking into a hopeful future – one where their next steps will begin at Texas Christian University.
All seven students were selected as TCU’s Community Scholar winners and will receive a four-year $250,000 scholarship to attend the prestigious university in Fort Worth. The award also includes the opportunity to study abroad, on-campus housing and a supportive network of advisors and former scholars.
The seven scholars include Eniola Akinbo, Veronica Arrocha, Jonathan Sanchez Camacho, Cristopher Gamez, Titan Henderson, Adeyemi Johnson and Oyindamola Ogunhibe.
Each year, TCU awards 50 scholarships to students at Title I schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as a part of the Community Scholars Program. With seven recipients, Sam Houston has the largest number of students receiving the award this year.
Meet the recipients
“This means everything to me,” said Gamez. “Every sacrifice my parents made for me is worth it. All the times that we didn’t have any money, eating food that wasn’t good, and all the pain that we went through makes it all worth it.
After I graduate, I want to come back to Sam Houston to give back. This community has given so much to me. I want to give back to future students that will come into TCU, so I can instill the hope that I had when I first came here.”
Sam Houston Principal Juan Villarreal, Arlington ISD Chief of Schools Dr. Tracie Brown, Arlington ISD Board of Trustees members and a host of guidance counselors and staff were in attendance to celebrate the scholars. Joy, pride and hope swept over the room as everyone took in the magnitude of the moment.
“A quarter of $1 million was not given to any of these students; it was earned,” said guidance counselor Cynthia Carter. “They spent months here staying late to work on their applications, ask questions about their essays, and getting recommendations on top of applying to other scholarships.
“I want you to know what type of kids we have at Sam Houston. These kids work hard, know the value of their education and know their labor will not be in vain. I put our kids up against any others. I can’t think of any other kids that work as hard as ours. That’s in and out of the classroom. That’s the caliber of kids we have here.”
The application process began in September, and the students have finally earned the award through their hard work, integrity, character and perseverance.
“I am extremely proud of our students. They truly exemplify what true Texans should be,” Villarreal said. “These students work hard throughout the year. Many participate in extra-curricular activities and some even have jobs, so they’re juggling a lot of things. I know they’re well-prepared to tackle anything that comes their way, and I’m very excited for their future.”