10 HISD seniors surprised with $5,000 scholarships for college

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan, is surprising 10 high school seniors at their homes with this year's Superintendent Scholars Award.

Usually, the surprise takes place at the school, but because of COVID-19, things looked a little different this year.

"We didn't want to miss the opportunity to let them know we're proud of them," said Lathan.


This is the third year scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors.

She surprised four students on Wednesday. First was Juan Gallegos, a senior from Furr High School.

"I was expecting a certificate, which would've been just as great. I wasn't expecting this at all," said Gallegos.

Lathan picked the 10 out of 45 HISD seniors who were nominated by their principals or leadership teams.

"I've had the opportunity to read their personal stories, so I know behind the scenes what they've overcome. These are students that overcome challenges in their personal lives, but they have excelled academically, and most of these students need the financial assistance," Lathan said.

Wheatley High School Senior, Tatianna Johnson, was one of the scholarship recipients.

She's the first in her family to go to college.

"I'll probably be able to go to my dream school, which is Prairie View," said Johnson.

Her father, Timothy Williams, couldn't be more proud. He said, "It's very exciting to help her go to college. It's very good for the kids."

Mason Doige from Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy and Alexis Villarreal from Heights High School were also awarded scholarships.

The scholarships are underwritten by The Coca-Cola Foundation. Each of the 10 seniors selected will get a $5,000 scholarship. The 35 remaining awardees will get $1,500.

The rest of the $5,000 scholarship recipients will be awarded later in the week.

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