•                                                                                            Launch HISD  

                               College Readiness
                                 2018-2019 Scholarship Recipients  

     Madison - Westside HS  

    Good things happen when you keep an open mind in the college search process! Madison Joiner, a graduating senior, began the year applying to state colleges, thinking that was her best option for finding a college fit, including costs.  She was accepted to Sam Houston, UT-Permian Basin, and the University of Houston before Christmas break.  However, Madison wants to study Psychology or Religious Studies, and was open to going to an out of state school if the money was right.  In the Spring, Madison applied to 5 private liberal arts schools (perfect for her potential majors), some in Texas and some out.  Having never been out of state, let alone on a plane before, Madison was soon flying to Luther College in Iowa to experience Accepted Students Day!

    The initial sticker shock of a private out of state school is daunting at best!  However, as Madison learned, their financial aid awards are oftentimes more robust.  The Cost of Attendance (COA) at Luther College is $54,165 and Madison’s financial aid award (including scholarships and grants) covers 90% of these costs!  She will pay less to attend this college than an in-state school.  Upon Madison’s return from Accepted Students day, she said she felt more confident in her abilities to handle both the academic and social side of college.  What better way to send a student off into their next chapter?  Madison, thanks for making Westside proud!

    Student of the month Diomarvellous  

    Diomarvellous Nsofor is a senior from Sharpstown High School, born from Nigerian parents in Italy. He is a political advocate at the local and national levels, advocating for the increased funding for afterschool programs nationwide, youth political awareness and participation, as well as increased voter registration and voting access in predominantly minority communities. Diomarvellous has also held a state office in the Texas Youth and Government organization, which he has participated in for the past three years and currently chairs the State Affairs forum. Aside from these efforts, Diomarvellous is a leader at his high school, supporting discussions on the future for immigrants and speaking at political events in the Sharpstown community. He has also volunteered as a videographer for the HISD Butler Stadium supporting student-athletes. To date, he has amassed over 400 community service hours. He intends to major in political science in college.

    Diomarvellous Nsofor has received the following scholarships:

    Telemundo & Wingstop Student of the Month $1,000
    Reality Changes Scholarship $500


    Hera’Emperatrize Gipson is Salutatorian at Kashmere High School.  She is a very bright young lady who has a promising future.  Trize, as she is affectionately called by her peers, faculty and staff, is well-rounded in every aspect.  She is very focused on her academics while participating in several extracurricular activities and holds several officer positions.  Trize is a member of the Martin Luther King chapter of the National Honor Society (President), KHS Debate Team (President), Student Council (Secretary), iDance Team, Drama Club, Lady Diamonds Step Team and JROTC (Battalion Executive Officer). Trize serves on the KHS Media Crew team where she is the featured morning announcer and the MC for all the pep rallies. In addition to these activities, Trize is also involved in sports such as varsity softball, varsity basketball, JV volleyball and track and field.

    Trize will further her education at Texas A&M University or Transylvania University.  She plans to have a double major in Biomedical Science and Animal Science.  Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree, she plans to further her studies at University of California, Davis.

    Trize has received the following scholarships: 

    Transylvania Pioneer Scholarship – $18,000 per year for 4 years
    Trailblazer Scholarship - $5000 per year for 4 years
    Children’s Defense Fund Scholarship - $1000
    Texas A&M University Regents Scholarship - $5000

    Her goal is to become a Veterinarian and on day own her own veterinarian hospital.

    Samantha Briones

    Samantha Briones
    The University of Texas at AustinMcCombs Business School's Impact Scholarship



    Samantha Briones is a Senior at Evan E. Worthing High School and currently ranked #2 in the graduating class of 2019. As a distinguished scholar, she has always displayed stellar work ethic, character, academic credentials, achievements, and commitment. Her post-secondary plans are to attend a 4-year University and major in business administration.

     Samantha is the proud daughter of an immigrant mother who viciously fought to come to the United States, so her children could have access to quality education. Because of the resilience acquired by mom, her academic journey has been remarkable, a true record of accomplishment. Even with adversity, Samantha managed to complete over 30 dual credit college hours.

     Over the years, Samantha Briones has consistently made a strong presence on the campus of Evan E. Worthing High School. This year as Vice President of Student Council, she continues to achieve in every field of her scholastic journey. Thus, it is without hesitation, that we highlight her recent accomplishment as recipient of The University of Texas at Austin McCombs Business School’s Impact Scholarship valued at $48,000 that covers the cost of tuition for four years.


    Monica Villa

    Monica Villa
    Academic Excellence Scholarship $4,500


    Mona Villa is a senior from Sam Houston MSTC.  She is an outstanding student, who is ranked in the top 5% of her class alongside her twin sister!  Monica is a resourceful person with a genuine drive to succeed.  She will be attending the University of Houston Main Campus and will be on her way to study Medicine to help the cause against cancer.



    KPRC winner

    Fatmata Sesay
    KPRC Senior Scholarship


    Westbury High School student Fatmata Sesay is a proud winner of the KPRC Channel Two Texas Mattress Makers Senior Scholarship.   Next year, Fatmata will attend Bryn Mawr College, where she plans to be a pre-med student and eventually to become a doctor. 

    Fatmata values giving back to the community that helped her and her family when they came to the United States.  After Hurricane Harvey, she organized the refugee youth in her apartment complex to clean up the Pay It Forward gardens.  She is an active PAIR mentor, helping younger refugee youth assimilate to life in Houston. 

    Sheyla Alfaro

    Sheyla Alfaro
    Student of the Month
    Telemundo & Wingstop


    Sheyla Alfaro attends Eastwood because she wanted to challenge herself.  She is an Edison alumnus.  She was the founding member of the Eastwood Act Club where she was instrumental in pushing for Eastwood to have an art car.  The art car, "Swim Shady" made to  and through the Art parade.  Sheyla also joined the  United We Dream, an organization that advocates immigrants rights.   With this organization she went door to door and also participated in a phone bank to encourage people to vote. 

    Kaylen Sanders - Student of the Month winner

    Kaylen Sanders
    Student of the Month
    Telemundo & Wingstop


    Kaylen Sanders attends Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men. He is in the Top 10% of his class, part of the program Genesys Works, the MLCPA Robotics Team, and plays guitar for his church. He wants to attend Rice University or The University of Houston Clear Lake where he will study Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Material Sciences and Nanoengineering and a minor in Business Administration. His career goal is to create an Engineering Firm/Technology Company with a Think Tank attached.

    2018 Scholarship For Champions

    Pascaline Chuma
    2018 Scholarship For Champions


    Pascaline Chuma is in the Top 10% of our senior class at Wisdom HS, ranking at 13 out of 429 seniors with a 4.0 GPA. She is taking our most rigorous classes will all AP classes. She arrived to United States from Uganda,Africa in 2015, and since then she has been involved heavily in sports and has volunteered many times out of school. For example at the Westbury Community Garden she helped with weeding, raking, picking up trash as well as sorted trash to facilitate garbage pickup. At  the Las Americas Newcomer  school Pascaline organized and distributed clothes to the newcomer students, as well as worked with Catholic Charties to sort donations for refugees; completely understanding their situation as she was once a newcomer not too long ago. Pascaline is a fan of the arts as well, committing time to assist at the Fotofest Family Day with the photo exhibits and the Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival. Her school is to major in Criminal Science at Sam Houston State University

    Student of the Month winner  Jhenifer Valdes Reyes
     Student of the Month Scholarship
    Telemundo & Wingstop



    Jhenifer is a senior at Westbury HS and thanks to her passion for math and her plan to pursue a chemical engineering degree, she was awarded the Student of the Month Scholarship. She was born in Monterrey, she came to the U.S. at the age of 3 and realized early on that education was the key to a bright future. Jhenifer attended a summer institute at Rice University for young women interested in STEM and is a founding member of the Westbury Math Club. 

    Jhenifer was nominated for Student of the Month by her college advisor, Laura Dew.

    “One of the qualities I appreciate most about Jhenifer is the way she refuses to let any student be left behind,” said Dew. “She brings her friends to the GO center to register for the SAT or find out more about college or career options.”

    Kristina Montez
    Kristina Montez
    HiSBA Scholarship Winner


    A senior at Carnegie High School, Kristina is a 1st generation student.  She wants to attend University of Texas Austin.  Her dream is to become an Engineer.

    J Rodas

    Jorge Rodas
    Gates Scholar Finalist


    A senior at Sharpstown International School, Jorge Rodas is a 1st generation Questbridge and Gates Scholars finalist. He is an active member of NHS, Political Awareness Club, the Woods Project, Model UN, and Band. Throughout high school he has challenged himself academical by partaking in AP and Pre-AP classes and has travelled to China over the summer to embrace new cultures and practice Mandarin. Known for his eccentric personality, Rodas constantly leads a group of esteemed students into volunteer projects and has great appreciation for Houston. He plans to attend Brown University and major in Biochemistry.


    J Venancio

    Juan Venancio
    HiSBA Scholarship Winner
    Gates Finalist



    Juan Venancio, a senior at Sharpstown International School and a prospecting 1st-generation college student attempting to gain admission to Harvard University. Through high school, he has maintained a spot on the A Honor Roll list and has challenged himself academically in multiple areas as a member of organizations like the school band, NHS, the Woods Project, UIL, Mi Familia Vota, and Model UN. He been recognized as an EMERGE scholar, LEDA scholar, Questbridge College Prep Scholar, National Hispanic Recognition Program scholar, and an exemplary candidate for the National Merit Scholar. Venancio has been awarded the HisBa scholarship. He plans to go undecided to college, but is interested in international relations and public policy, hoping to become fluent in foreign languages in college. 


    A Badena

    Adriana Badena
    Gates Finalist


    A first generation senior at Sharpstown International School, Adriana Badena, has developed a passion for immersing herself in a diversity of cultures and constantly striving for greatness. She is the section leader of the Flute section in the Wind Ensemble's and an active member of the National Honor Society, aiming to provide service and encourage prosperity for the diverse members of our community and our world. Last summer, she had the opportunity to enjoy a 2 week leadership development backpacking trip at Glacier National Park in Montana and spent 2 weeks in China increasing her proficiency of the Chinese language and culture. She has been awarded as a Scholar for the National Hispanic Recognition Award for my academic excellence and is a Gates Scholar finalist. She plans on majoring in Biology and attend Yale University.