Five students from Harker Heights High School were awarded $1,000 scholarships by the Kiwanis Club Tuesday afternoon.
The club has provided financial support to students for more than 30 years, said Darrel Charlton, head of the scholarship committee.
“The mission of Kiwanis is to focus on children of the world, and children of our local area,” he said. “We do things for kids and contribute to a lot of charities.”
Kiwanis provides support for organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club and the Scott and White Children’s Miracle Network. The club hosted fundraising events and received generous donations from the community to support the scholarship awards. A total of 14 students applied for scholarships this year.
Club members and the family of the late P.R. Cox, co-founder of Harker Heights, handed out the scholarships to four graduating seniors — Katelyn Greene, Robert Sluss, Sarah Kreigh and Lydia Kim.
A fifth student — Anna Jordan — received the H.B. Davis Scholarship, dedicated to the late Bill Davis, who was a Kiwanis when the club first started 42 years ago.
Family and friends joined the scholarship winners at a ceremony Tuesday in Harker Heights.
Greene, who plans to major in technical theater at Texas State University, was “really surprised and exceptionally happy” to receive the scholarship.
“I wasn’t really sure I was going to get it because there was a bunch of people going up against me for it, but I was hoping to get it,” she said.
Sluss also plans to attend Texas State University. He will major in biology and wants to attend medical school to become a pediatrician.
“Academically, it’s always a long process, but in the end you can look back and say that you are done with it and that’s a great feeling,” he said.
Kreigh will head to Austin in the fall, where she will major in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas. She wants to create new machines and technology.
“I’m glad I took a lot of hard classes to prepare me for college … it helped my GPA and it was worth it in the end,” she said.
Kim will attend Baylor University and major in pharmacy and minor in theology. She wants to become a missionary and assist in improving health care systems in underdeveloped countries.
Jordan, who plans to major in education at Texas A&M University, was shocked by the scholarship award.
“I wasn’t expecting this one,” she said. “I appreciate every dime I can get. It’s really hard to stick through it all to get all your scholarship applications in, and I hope the upcoming class can persevere and get through it just like we did.”
A constant rise in school tuition is part of the reason the club awards scholarships, said Esebell Zellmar, Kiwanis president.
“It was very nice to see the students with the families who are very knowledgeable,” she said. “We are looking forward to hearing from them as they go about their route.”