AUSTIN, Texas —
This fall, three 2013 graduates of West Orange-Stark High School and one graduate of Bridge City High School are starting college with the help of a total of $2,500 in scholarships from the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. The teens are among 82 deserving students across the state to receive scholarships totaling $128,500 from the TCTA Scholarship Program, which is funded by the estate of the late Charles and Phyllis Gottlieb.
When establishing the scholarship criteria, TCTA honored Phyllis Gottlieb’s wishes, which were to create a program unlike most others. Rather than looking solely at transcripts and selecting only top academic performers, who often have multiple financial aid sources, TCTA chooses recipients who have faced hardships that make higher education unlikely without help.
West Orange-Stark High School recipients
• Leslie Cano – $250 scholarship to attend Lamar State College in Orange and ultimately pursue a career as a physical therapist. She is a single mother and was the first in her family to graduate from high school. “This accomplishment is something I’m very proud of, “ she wrote in her application, “therefore making me strive to achieve all that I can to make a good life for myself and my daughter.”
• Miranda Miller – $1,000 scholarship to major in math at Schreiner University in Kerrville. After two years, she plans to transfer to Texas A&M University to complete a degree in mechanical or architectural engineering. “I love to build and help people, and it would be a dream come true if I could combine the two,” she wrote in her application.
• Jhayllien Monette – $250 scholarship to pursue a nursing degree at Tyler Junior College. West Orange-Stark High School teacher Diztorsha Lavan nominated Monette for the scholarship. “Jhayllien is an excellent student,” she wrote in her nomination. “I know that he will succeed and be a productive, contributing member of society if given a fair chance to prove himself.”