HISD Interim Superintendent surprises students with $5,000 scholarships

Throughout the month of April, ten outstanding HISD seniors were surprised with 2019 HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholar Awards totaling $50,000.  

HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholar Awards, in the amount of $2,000, are presented annually to graduating seniors who have exemplified great character and resilience in the face of adversity. One senior from every HISD high school will receive scholarships. 

However, moved by their stories of overcoming great obstacles, HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan selected 10 HISD seniors to receive $5,000 scholarships. Lathan and HISD Board of Education trustees are making surprise school visits to present the $5,000 awards.

Below are the ten students who each received a $5,000 scholarship:

Stacy Gonsoulin – North Houston Early College High School: Gonsoulin has been the primary caretaker for both of her disabled, ill parents for nearly a decade. Despite her considerable responsibilities at home, Gonsoulin has taken advanced classes while working nights and weekends to support her family.  Gonsoulin plans to attend the University of North Texas at Denton to study interior design. 

Hera’Emperatrize Gipson – Kashmere High School: While a student at Kashmere,
Hera’Emperatrize has had to overcome many personal challenges. Determined to not give up, she redirected those challenges into her studies, and she has been named Salutatorian of her class. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and JROTC. She will attend Transylvania University in the fall with plans to double major in Biomedical Science and Animal Science.

Roberto Blas – Milby High School: At Milby High School, Roberto is known for his joy and passion in the kitchen. In the midst of some personal medical adversities, Milby’s Buffalo Diner has become a sanctuary for Roberto. The moment he walks into the diner, his face brightens as they begin to prepare the menu for the day. There is always a sense of pride and passion in
his work. Roberto plans on attending Johnson & Wales University in the fall to pursue his culinary career.

Tyria Stewart – Young Women’s College Prep: Despite an unpredictable family circumstance, Tyria has remained committed to her studies, while balancing part-time jobs to help support her family. Tyria’s enthusiasm has remained undefeated and contagious as she still organized events for her peers, which included speaker engagements and movie nights through the local National Society of Black Engineers. Tyria plan to attend West Virginia University and major in Kinesiology.

Reagan Dennis – Energy Institute High School: While a student at Energy Institute High School, Reagan did not let circumstances dictate her success. At Energy, Reagan founded a Peer Support Club to help support other students who need tutorials, help with college applications, etc. She is known for being a courageous and kind person, as well as a team leader. Reagan will attend Colby College in the fall with plans to major in Political Science.

Stephanie Bonilla – Challenge Early High School: Determined to stay the course in her studies, Stephanie held a job to support her family’s household and acted as a caregiver for her parents during some of their darkest days. Despite a series of unfortunate events, it was a team of educators—teachers and campus psychologist— who kept Stephanie on track to graduation.
Not only has she been accepted to Dallas Baptist University, Stephanie will graduate with her associate’s degree from Houston Community College.

Katherine Miranda – Sharpstown International High School: As a DREAMER, Katherine knew that academic excellence was the key that would unlock the door to success. She is an entrenched member of the Sharpstown International School community. She serves as a leader in Model United Nations, National Honor Society, the Intramural Soccer club and is the current Senior Class President. An EMERGE scholar, Katherine is ranked number 8 in her class and applied to 15 colleges and universities. She will attend Texas A&M Univeristy in the fall, and she will major in business.

Giana Lopez – Wisdom High School: Giana has been described as a “remarkable, preserving, determined student.”  Giana has overcome immense personal obstacles to become an outstanding student. Giana has described school as her “happy place.” As a member of the National Honor Society, she is tackling a full AP course load, and she is ranked #7 in her graduating class. She will be graduating high school a year early, and plans on attending the University of Texas at Austin. She will major in Psychology and dreams of starting a nonprofit one day.

Stephanie Pantoja – Middle College High School at Fraga: Ranked currently as #3 in her entire graduating class, Stephanie is described as the perfect example of determination and what it means to never give up. Stephanie has overcome tough medical challenges. Determined to not give up, she redirected those challenges into her studies, which revealed a passion for health care. Stephanie will attend the University of Houston – Downtown and plans to major in nursing.

Kamryon Nellum – Westbury High School: While a student at Westbury, Kamryon has been both a successful athlete and scholar. He played football for three years, and he is described as a leader both on and off the field. After a family illness in his junior year, Kamryon took a break from football to help his family. Despite everything, Kamryon has stayed committed to his studies, and his high SAT scores show that he is ready and capable of achieving his dreams. Kamryon will attend the University of Houston in the fall where he will study computer engineering.