Ten BISD students win ‘I Have A Dream’ Program scholarships

Armani Collins and Narda Herrarte

The Ben Rogers/Lamar University/BISD “I Have A Dream” Program recently awarded nearly $25,000 in scholarships to 10 Beaumont ISD Class of 2015 graduates at a reception and luncheon at the BISD Administration Building.

The students from Ozen, West Brook and Central Medical Magnet were selected through recommendations by their school counselors, the submission of written essays and interviews conducted by a committee of “I Have A Dream” board members. The following will attend Lamar University or Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT), and each will receive yearly scholarships (renewable based on their performance at the end of each school year) in the amount of $2,000 plus additional funds for the purchase of books: Kierra Andrepoint, Jaquelin Barrera, Denavia Barabin, Jolie Russell, Narda Herrarte, Tavian Edmonson, Sarah Griffith, Christiana Hadnot, Mathieu Mewa and Armani Collins, who was awarded the I Have A Dream Nicholas Pearson Criminal Justice Scholarship named in Pearson’s memory following his death from testicular cancer at 21. Stephanie and Nigel Pearson, mother and brother of Nicholas “Nico” Pearson, presented the award.

President Tom Abbage provided welcoming remarks, congratulating the young people and reminding them how special they are to have been selected for scholarships. Program Founder Regina Rogers referred to the “dreamers” as treasured family who are loved and admired by a “village” of supporters. She also introduced guests, including board members Marilyn Adams and Paula O’Neal; BISD Personnel, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Shirley Bonton, Communications Specialist Nakisha Myles, Guidance and Counseling Coordinator Meegan Wingate-Mickles and High School Counselors Wilma Sinegal Vaughn (Central Medical Magnet), Tara Chavis (Ozen), and Jocelyn Liedy (West Brook), whose involvement and assistance have been integral to the success of the program.

Introducing the scholars was I Have A Dream Student Affairs Director Margueritte Humphrey, who meets with the dreamers weekly, offering guidance and other support on a regular basis.

Myles, who made special remarks, spoke of her pride in the students’ accomplishments and confided that she, too, had overcome obstacles, including a difficult family background, by staying focused on her personal goals.

Since 1988, the Ben Rogers/Lamar University/BISD “I Have A Dream” program has provided mentoring for more than 400 “dreamers,” making available a wide array of experiences and giving them a vast reservoir of support and resources from which to pull. During the past three years, more than 25 high school seniors have been selected for additional annual scholarships. Currently enrolled at Lamar or LIT are 33 “I Have A Dream” students, with the additional 10 scheduled to enroll in the fall of this year.

For more information, call (409) 892-8792.

— Office of Regina Rogers