‘I Have A Dream’ scholarships

‘I Have A Dream’ scholarships

First Nico Pearson Memorial Scholarship awarded


The Ben Rogers/Lamar University/BISD “I Have A Dream” Program announced the creation and awarding of six new $1,000 scholarships to Lamar University for graduating BISD seniors.

Five students received the newly established “Ben Rogers ‘I Have a Dream’ Scholarship” for youth who have a strong desire to attend college but face financial challenges in achieving their dream.

The 2012 recipients are:


  • Tremeka Ceasar, Central Medical Magnet High School
  • Daunte Edwards, Paul A. Brown Center
  • • Jesus Rodriguez, Paul A. Brown Center
  • Anissa Ross, West Brook High School
  • • Bethany Thomas, Ozen Magnet High School

All honorees, who were selected by their high school counselors on the basis of grades, character and financial need, plan to enroll in Lamar University in the fall and must maintain a GPA within the stated guidelines.

An additional $1,000 scholarship was awarded to West Brook High School’s Humberto Jimenez, the first recipient of the newly established Nico Pearson Memorial Scholarship.

Pearson, a member of the “I Have A Dream” Class of 2006, was a proud West Brook basketball player and criminal justice major at Lamar University who passed away tragically in 2010 after a battle with testicular cancer. Seeking a way to impact other young people with his extraordinary spirit of dedication, compassion and love, Pearson’s mother, Stephanie, along with Pastor John Adolph of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, partnered to conduct a basketball tournament in his memory. Through their efforts and a generous contribution from IHAD founder Regina Rogers, funds were raised to provide a scholarship for a student planning to attend Lamar and major in criminal justice. Future scholarships will be raised through an annual basketball tournament.

“Nico would be proud to know that an exceptional young man is continuing the goal he was unable to achieve because of his illness,” said Rogers.

An awards ceremony was recently held to honor all six recipients, with each receiving a special trophy from Dr. Tim Chargois, IHAD board member and superintendent-elect of the Beaumont Independent School District, and Tom Abbage, IHAD board president.

The “I Have A Dream”’ Program was established in 1988 as a surprise 75th birthday present for Ben Rogers by his wife, Julie, and his children and grandchildren. Since inception, the program has helped more than 400 young people graduate from high school, with more than 260 having achieved a college or technical degree.