FORT WORTH, Texas – Eight Fort Worth ISD graduates will be awarded a combined $56,000 toward their college educations during the 2011 Chesapeake Scholarship awards ceremony held tonight at Chesapeake Plaza. Renewable for up to four years for students who remain eligible, the total value of the scholarships could reach $224,000, providing significant economic assistance for the students to complete their educations. The Fort Worth scholarship program is administered by the Community Foundation of North Texas on behalf of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK).
“Chesapeake takes tremendous pride in helping hard-working local students overcome the financial obstacles of attending college,” said Kimberly Britton, Community Relations Director for Chesapeake. “These students will enrich and lead our community in the very near future and we have no doubt they will, in turn, pass on the gift of education to many others in their years of service.”
Recipients of the Chesapeake scholarship are receiving awards of up to $20,000 annually based on their unmet financial need as determined by the U.S. Department of Education. The recognized students will attend schools of higher education across the state this fall, including Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. They will major in subjects ranging from education and biomedical engineering, to neurology and aerospace engineering. All winners were selected for the scholarship due to their academic and extracurricular achievements in high school.
“There is no greater justice than when a young, highly-motivated student gets the credit he or she deserves,” Fort Worth City Councilman Frank Moss. The degree of commitment these students exhibited in high school is inspirational, and the fact that all eight recipients have chosen to continue their educations at in-state institutions is an indication that the future looks bright in Texas. I would like to thank Chesapeake Energy and the scholarship’s other supporting donors for their generous investment in these promising future leaders.”
“It is a privilege to call these extraordinary students graduates of the Fort Worth ISD,” said Fort Worth ISD Interim Superintendent Walter Dansby. “It is satisfying to know that generous partners like Chesapeake want to help us help children.”
To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have attended a school in the Fort Worth ISD, maintained a 3.0 grade point average and been accepted to a university or vocational school for the fall. Additionally, they must be a minority (African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American or a woman) as defined by the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency.
“By giving all recipients a chance to pursue their educations, these generous donors are investing in the future,” said scholarship winner Silverio Canchola. “I see this scholarship as not only a chance to continue my studies, but also to contribute to the future prosperity of my community by inspiring the next generation of students.”
Chesapeake created the $3.75 million scholarship with an initial $2.5 million contribution in 2007. The remaining $1.25 million was raised in challenge matches by the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas to initiate scholarship programs in both cities. Four years later, 63 students from Fort Worth and Dallas independent school districts have been awarded scholarships – including seven Dallas ISD students who were recognized last month in another ceremony.
“The Community Foundation places great value on higher education and scholarships,” said Nancy E. Jones, President of the Foundation. “We are excited to once again be partnering with Chesapeake and other community donors to give students in our community the financial assistance needed to pursue a college degree.”
- Silverio Canchola was salutatorian at Carter-Riverside High School, finishing with the second-highest GPA in his 227-student class. He was also recognized as a Superintendent Scholar, RadioShack Scholar and Young Texan Scholar. In addition to his academic triumphs, Silverio was president of his school’s Spanish Club and member of its district-champion cross country team. Silverio will attend Texas A&M University this fall and major in aerospace engineering.
- Katy Levee is an accomplished student who graduated in the top 15% of her class at Dunbar High School. An aspiring teacher, Katy took dual-credit classes at the University of Texas at Arlington while at Dunbar, and was touted for her potential in the fields of foreign languages and art. Katy will apply her talents at Texas Women’s University this fall.
- Mayra Lopez graduated 11th out of 455 students at Trimble Tech High School. She was an active member of many clubs and leadership groups, utilizing her bilingual abilities in her school’s Spanish Club, as well as the League of United Latin American Citizens. Additionally, Mayra was affiliated with the local chapter of United Voices for Change, and volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House. She will attend Texas A&M University in the fall.
- Abigail Rosales was involved in several clubs and leadership groups at Paschal High School, including student council, campus cleanup and school choir. Despite her busy extracurricular workload, she was an academic standout whose GPA ranked in the top 10% of her 515-person class. Abigail will attend Texas A&M University in the fall and major in biomedical engineering.
- Raul Salas is a motivated individual who graduated with the top GPA out of 211-students at Diamond-Hill Jarvis High School. When he wasn’t concentrating on his academics, Raul was actively involved in a broad range of extracurricular activities. He was a captain of his football team, member of the school band and acapella choir, and a dedicated volunteer. Raul will attend Texas Christian University this fall and is learning toward majoring in engineering.
- Angel Solorzano is a well-rounded student who strives in many areas, especially music. He earned all-state honors for his work in the choir, plays the cello, and participates with his rock band in the Cowtown Battle of the Bands. Angel, who graduated in the top 12% of his class at Western Hills High School, is noted by his AP anatomy and biology teacher for always going above and beyond. He will continue working toward his goal of becoming a doctor at the University of Texas-Austin this fall.
- Shanequiwa Sledge is an accomplished and driven student who excelled both academically and athletically at Polytechnic High School. She graduated 4th in her 212-person class. On the playing field, she was captain of the track team, a varsity volleyball player, and a color guard standout. Shanequiwa is still deciding which school to attend, but has narrowed her choices to the University of North Texas and Hutson-Tillotson University located in Austin.
- Jasmine Washington graduated second out of 177 students at Dunbar High School. Jasmine has been inspired by her family to pursue a career in health care. In addition to her outstanding work in the classroom, Jasmine was a star athlete who excelled in both track and volleyball. She was also a cheerleader at Dunbar, as well as a junior cheerleader with the Dallas Cowboys. Jasmine will major in neurology at Texas Christian University this fall and eventually hopes to open up her own practice.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation is the second-largest producer of natural gas, a Top 15 producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S. Chesapeake owns leading positions in the Barnett, Haynesville, Bossier, Marcellus and Pearsall natural gas shale plays and in the Granite Wash, Cleveland, Tonkawa, Mississippian, Bone Spring, Avalon, Wolfcamp, Wolfberry, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, Three Forks/Bakken and Utica unconventional liquids plays. The company has also vertically integrated its operations and owns substantial midstream, compression, drilling and oilfield service assets. Chesapeake’s stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CHK. Further information is available at www.chk.com where Chesapeake routinely posts announcements, updates, events, investor information, presentations and press releases.
About the Community Foundation of North Texas
The Community Foundation of North Texas is a public charity that serves the North Texas region so that people with philanthropic interests can support issues they care about – now or through their estates. As a Community Foundation, we help individuals, families, and businesses establish charitable funds using a variety of assets. Grants are made from these funds to nonprofit groups that meet the charitable goals of the donor. The first community foundation started in 1914 and now there are more than 700 across the country. Founded in 1981, CFNTx is currently among the top 20% of community foundations in the nation. The assets of the Foundation are over $140 million.