Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church awarded three $1,000 scholarships for the third year Monday at its 15th annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration.
Donisha Odoms, 17, Katelyn Smallwood, 18, and Ronald Clark II, 17, each received a scholarship at the ceremony Monday afternoon.
“I was beyond excited; I thought I bombed the interview,” said Odoms, an Ellison High School senior who will be studying psychology at the University of North Texas in the fall. “This is my first scholarship.”
A total of 43 students from Killeen, Copperas Cove and Lampasas applied for the MLK scholarships this year. The top 10 percent, chosen by a panel, were brought in for an interview. The students whose applications and interviews scored the highest won the scholarships.
“I felt lots of relief,” Smallwood, an Ellison High School senior, said after learning she earned the scholarship.
She plans to attend Sam Houston State University next year to study criminal justice.
Clark, who also was excited to receive a scholarship, plans to study biology at Baylor University.
“I always aspired to help others,” said the Killeen High School senior, who hopes to become a neurologist. “By choosing this, I’ll be able to do so.”
The MLK Commemoration Board collects contributions from individuals to fund the scholarships.
Clementine Lewis, chair of the MLK Commemoration Board, introduced the scholarship winners after a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day service at Bible Way.
“These young people followed through. They were excellent,” she said.
A 2012 scholarship winner, Jessica Lewis spoke at the service about receiving the award.
“One year ago today, I was sitting with my parents in the front row,” she said. “I knew the scholarship would assist me in my goal of attending Baylor University.”
Donations were taken at the end of the service, and will be collected throughout the year, to fund next year’s scholarships.
“To those who donated financially, thank you,” Clementine Lewis said. “To those who didn’t, it’s not too late.”