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State Fair of Texas Awards $1.3 Million to Texas Youth

Since its establishment in 1992, the State Fair of Texas® Youth Scholarship Program has continued to uphold the Fair’s nonprofit mission of supporting agriculture, education and community involvement. To celebrate 25 years of supporting Texas youth through college scholarships, the State Fair honored its Dallas-area scholarship recipients at the annual Youth Scholarship Luncheon today. Graduating high school seniors and their families gathered at the Music Hall in Fair Park for the event, hailing from five Dallas Independent School District (DISD) high schools in the Fair Park area. Awarding a total of more than $1.3 million in new scholarships in 2017, the Fair recognized 102 Pete Schenkel Scholarship recipients from DISD, in addition to 115 Youth Livestock Scholarship recipients from around the state who could not be in attendance.

Guests got the chance to hear from FOX4 News Anchor Clarice Tinsley, who has served as a longtime Fair supporter and presenter of the awards at the event for many years. Students loved listening to this year’s keynote speaker, Taylor Toynes, a Dallas native who founded local nonprofit For Oak Cliff and serves as a community impact associate at Commit!, another Dallas-based nonprofit that helps drive student achievement throughout Dallas county from cradle to career by leveraging data, community expertise and collaboration. In addition, those in attendance heard from a graduate of the Youth Scholarship Program, Christy Tovar, who recently graduated from TCU and is now a cardio-thoracic nurse at Baylor Hospital in Dallas.

A total of 102 graduating seniors were awarded the State Fair of Texas Pete Schenkel Scholarship today at the annual celebration, including: Nailah Blair, Alexandra Castillo, Lidia Engdaw, Sandra Escorza, Julissa Espinoza-Reyes, Z’Kijah Fleming, Destiny Jimenez, Victoria Lopez Hernandez, Brianda Macias Aguilar, Paola Martinez Lopez, Ariana Quirino, Michelle Ramirez, Leslie Ramos Hernandez, Gina Rattanakone, Melanie Rivera, Erika Sarmiento, Ashley Spaeth, Crystal Vargas, Ariel Ventura, Noemi Vidales Esparza, Arianna Villegas and Terie Young, of Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School; Arnetra Armstrong, Keturah Barnes, Aerial Britt, Parker Campbell, Zion Cardell, Patricia Gomez, Edith Gonzalez, Joseph Henry, Clem’Drea Maxie, Erica Reed, Rodolfo Santamaria, Desmond Scott, Luther Tolliver, Gladis Torres, Arleen Valenciano and Nakia Wells, of James Madison High School; Markiesha Alexander, Devodric Bynum, Keashon Davis, Craig Jackson, Keja Johnson, Mukamba Kalala, Artis Mathis, ShaQuera McGee, Jaylon Miller, Evelyn Morales, Tryana Neal-Washington, Anthony Peters, Kharia Pinkard, Jose Ramirez, Idahosa Robinson, Latecia Rose, Kametrea Williams, Jazzman Wilson, Juliue Winston, De’Coryn Wright and Rafael Zuniga, of Lincoln High School; Salvador Aguirre, Delfino Andrade, Lesley Arias, Leslie Canales, Edith Cervantes Cruz, Melissa Cordoba, Susana Erazo, Veronica Malagon, Debany Malpica, Johnathan Mason, Alec Mireles-Montoya, Alexis Monroy, ‘Adin Morris-Barksdale, Kevin Nguyen, Willie Beatriz Parks, Shakera Peck, Nalyne Pen, Ricardo Peralta and Rodolfo Ramos, of North Dallas High School; Brian Arnold, Jillian Barthelemy, Cabrina Becker, Victoryah Braun, Travis Brewster, Precy May Cabato, Mary Grace Doviak, Lawson Freeman, Bruno Garcia, Wendy Garcia-Ramirez, Isabelle Kauffman, Awa Khan, Reiley Lusk, Angel Montelongo, Lauren Murray, Morgan Niezgoda, Maison Norman, Sydney Quintana, Jacqueline Revilla, Celeste Romero, Mateo Salmeron, Blake Walker, Catherine Wilson and Estevan Zarate, of Woodrow Wilson High School.

A total of 117 Youth Livestock Scholarships have been awarded to graduating seniors from across the Lone Star State, including: Matilyn Abner of Howe, Lauren Akers of Abernathy, Seth Allen of Cisco, Bailey Allison of Lorena, Morgan Atkinson of Dickens, Mackenzie Baugh of Waxahachie, Grace Baxter of Dripping Springs, Lindsey Behrends of Fredericksburg, Kandon Bennett of Henrietta, Henry Bird of Alvin, Dustin Bostick of Brownwood, Colton Bourquin of Lubbock, Hunter Brockelman of Sherman, Nicholas Broz of Veribest, Stephanie Bullard of Carrizo Springs, Carsyn Burney of Celina, Allie Burns of Seguin, Ashtyn Carr of Celina, Ryleigh Carson of Turkey, Hannah Caudle of Brashear, Kira Christian of Stafford, Garrett Clark of Powderly, Anabelle Cope of Fredericksburg, Shayna Coper of Farmersville, Brittney Couch of Little Elm, Mikayla Davidson of Lufkin, Kathryn Davis of Grand Saline, Sidney Dunkel of Archer City, Caitlin Edsall of Red Oak, Landon Estes of Sylvester, Andrew Estrada of Diboll, Austin Evans of Farmersville, Abbi Farr of Farmersville, Bennett Folsom of The Hills, Ryan Frampton of Florence, John Fuhrmann of Gainesville, Cody Garcia of Hico, Julia Garcia of Bridgeport, Sierra Gordon of Zephyr, Myles Hackstedt of Needville, China Hale of Mountain Home, Temple Hamlin of Big Spring, Chase Hancock of Whitney, Kinley Hansard of Nocona, Brigg Hawkins of Cleburne, Jace Henry of Mount Pleasant, Jolee Hill of Idalou, Harlea Hoelscher of Levelland, Jaci Horton of Farmersville, Jared Johnson of Ropesville, Blake Jonas of New Braunfels, Seth Jordan of Gatesville, Ty Jordan of Gatesville, Lauren Kale of Hico, Laci Keel of Waco, Cameron Kelly of Missouri City, Eric Koennecke of Fredericksburg, Parker Laing of Pittsburg, Macy Lange of Ballinger, Kylie Layton of Scottsville, Kaylee Leonard of Plantersville, Shelby Lepley of Huntsville, Bronson Lincks of Ovilla, Kendall Lisle of Bridgeport, Emily Long of New Braunfels, Lyndi Luttrull of Decatur, Joel Mackey of Giddings, Emily Martin of New Ulm, Morgan Mathis of Kingsville, Sydney Maulsby of College Station, Kellen McCauley of Bridgeport, Cayleigh McCawley of Baytown, Roy McCleery of Poolville, John McCullough, III of Sherman, Baillie McManners of Bedias, Andi McMillin of Shallowater, Mills Meier of Stonewall, Trevor Meier of Helotes, Kaylee Musgrove of Seguin, Teah Patton of Silverton, Garrett Phillips of Comfort, Casey Pitchford of Athens, Mary Potter of Center Point, Kathryn Price of San Antonio, Micah Rainey of Stephenville, Sheridan Reagan of Quitaque, Emily Reiley of Seguin, Jonathan Rogers of Olney, Matthew Roth of Pilot Point, Halee Sanderson of Blackwell, Taylor Schertz of Denton, Keaton Schulte of Brenham, Brittany Shipp of Baytown, Sarita Short of Voss, Riley Simpson of Fairfield, Dylan Sione of Fredericksburg, Karissa Slayton of Lubbock, Emory Smith of Mansfield, Kaylee Smith of Angleton, Jacey Snapp of Slaton, Colton Snedecor of Fredericksburg, Joseph Stegint, III of Plantersville, Hannah Sullivan of Pilot Point, Amanda Sykora of Sanger, Reagan Thurman of Bryan, Joshua Vinson of Hico, Rylan Wade of Dawson, Mackenzie Weadock of San Angelo, RaeLeigh Willborn of Stratford, Olivia Wise-Dent of Seguin, Laura Wyrick of Gainesville, John Yates of Waxahachie, Landyn Young of Big Spring, Shannon Zaiontz of San Antonio, Megan Ziegenhagen of Rice.

Since 1992, the State Fair of Texas Youth Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 2,000 students for a total of more than $10 million. To honor its past Chairman Pete Schenkel, each year the State Fair awards multiple college scholarships to selected applicants from five DISD high schools surrounding the Fair Park area – Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, James Madison, Lincoln, North Dallas and Woodrow Wilson High Schools. In addition, the State Fair awards scholarships to selected applicants who have participated in youth livestock competitions at the State Fair of Texas and are enrolling in an agricultural-related or agricultural-benefiting curriculum.

Scholastic performance is important, with preference given to students ranking in the top 25% of their class. Recipients receive a $6,000 grant, renewable in $1,500 annual increments if the student meets the criteria for renewal. Students must attend an accredited college or university within the state of Texas. Recipients must enroll in a minimum of 12 hours for the fall 2017 term. In order to qualify for scholarship renewal, recipients must enroll in, and pass, a minimum of 12 hours each semester. In addition, recipients must achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA their first semester and a 3.0 cumulative GPA for every semester thereafter.

The Fair congratulates these deserving students on their accomplishments and is happy to support them in reaching for and achieving their dreams. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and does not receive any government funding or support. Its nonprofit purpose is funded through the proceeds from the annual State Fair of Texas event. The net proceeds from the Fair are reinvested in Fair Park, in the form of capital improvements; given as scholarships to deserving youth throughout the state of Texas; used to support Fair Park museum facilities and community outreach programs; and used to improve the State Fair’s operation. Help support the Fair’s mission of celebrating all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment by attending this year’s exposition. The gates open for the 2017 State Fair of Texas starting September 29 through October 22, with the theme “Celebrating Texans.”

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About the State Fair of Texas

Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park, underwrite museum, community and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers, and help improve State Fair operations. The 2017 exposition runs September 29 through October 22 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.

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