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2020 FOR Scholarship Winners
Posted on Jun 1st, 2020
Six 2020 high school graduates were awarded $1,000 scholarships from Friends of the River (FOR) San Bernard. Applications were received this year from 11 of the 14 high schools in our watershed. The academic, extracurricular, volunteer and environmental stewardship credentials presented by the students were truly outstanding and made for a very competitive selection process. Read scholarship requirements.
Due to Covid-19 constraints, we were not able to award the scholarships personally at their high school’s award ceremony, but each student awarded a scholarship was notified by one of the committee members via a phone call. The excitement in their voice was obvious and made the call very rewarding for the committee members.
“Congratulations to these six outstanding young men and women. Thank you to all of the school counselors and staff who help promote the FOR scholarship program, and we wish the best of luck to all of the 2020 graduates.”
FOR Scholarship Committee: Tom Ronayne, Barbara Fratila, Marie Breakiron, Wayne Head, and Fred Kanter
Ethan Casteneda is a 2020 graduate of Needville High School and his teachers and principals recognized Ethan’s drive for success, thirst for knowledge, and joy for life. At NHS he was active in sports, student government, and art. Outside of school he was dedicated volunteer in the Needville community.
Ethan has been accepted in the May’s School of Business at Texas A&M University and plans to major in Finance and minor in Construction Science. In his application, Ethan stated that he has observed the loss of natural habitat as Houston expanded. He hopes to apply his finance and construction science education to help find solutions to that unfortunate trend.
Maria Gonzalez is a 2020 graduate of Boling High School and was an active leader and member in many BHS groups, including FCCLA, Library Club, One Act Plays, Art Guild, Prom Committee, POWERSET, WIT, and NHS, Band, Color Guard, and BHS Tennis Team. She was also the editor of the Boling HS 2019-2020 Yearbook and a very active community volunteer. Maria also managed to earn straight A’s in the classroom.
Maria will attend the University of Houston and major in Environmental Science. She also hopes to continue her education beyond the bachelor level and ultimately teach environmental science at the college or university level.
Marc Martinez is a 2020 graduate of El Campo High School and was active in many high school extracurricular activities, including serving as Class President of the Student Council and the Anchor Club. Marc also made an impact in the community as a volunteer, including volunteer work on Special Olympics, blood drives, and serving as a lector and usher at his church.
Marc will be attending the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University to major in Civil Engineering. He plans to work with his dad at Gulf Coast Ready Mix and use his education and knowledge to expand the business. Marc understands the value of volunteering and hopes to help other communities after he graduates, including a desire to have a scholarship program of his own so that he can help others pursue their dream just as FOR has helped him.
Shelby Nichols is a 2020 graduate of Columbia High School and is the valedictorian of her class with straight A’s throughout her 4 years of high school and at Brazosport College where she earned 21 hours of college credit while in high school. She accomplished this while being very active and a leader in her school and among her peers. Shelby served as captain of the varsity Cheer Squad and earned two All-American titles during her cheer career.
Shelby will be attending Texas A&M University as an Allied Health Major and plans to graduate with a Batchelor of Science in Nursing and earn her license to practice as a registered nurse. She also hopes to graduate with a minor in Environmental Health. Her teachers and counselors at Columbia High School feel strongly that no matter what Shelby chooses to do after high school she will excel at it.
Emily Norsworthy is a 2020 graduate of Sweeny High School and has been a member and leader in the National Honor Society, an inducted member of the Workforce Industry Training Program, the Girls Scouts, and the School Band. Emily’s was a very active and dedicated member of the Future Farmers Association beginning in 2016 and she served as the President for the Sweeny chapter and the vice-president for the Area III Association for FFA during her senior year.
Emily plans to attend Sam Houston State University and major in Plant and Soil Sciences with a minor in Environmental Sciences. After college Emily hopes to apply her passion for clean water and protecting natural resources by working for an environmental firm or Agrilife Extension Office and ultimately owning her own nursery/floral shop.
John Owen is a 2020 graduate of Sealy High School and has demonstrated success and leadership in a diverse number of activities, including Academic All District and All State in athletics, a four-year member and officer of Student Council, and a four-year coach of Special Olympics. John was an integral member of the SHS FFA organization for the last four years and has earned awards as a livestock judge, showman, and chapter officer.
John will be attending Texas Tech University where he intends to earn a dual major in Ag Economics and General Business. John cares deeply about the importance and value of the agricultural industry and while he is not 100% sure of the stops along the way, he is certain that he will be a strong advocate for the American farmer and rancher.