Jackson Allan Hooper, for whom Turtle Wing Foundation was founded in memory of in 2011, would have graduated high school in 2019. In honor of this, Turtle Wing Foundation awarded their first academic scholarships to three of his classmates last year. This tradition has been continued, opening applications this year to all graduating high school seniors attending school in the heart of the Turtle Wing service area which is Fayette, Colorado, and Lavaca counties. This project is intended to further the mission of Turtle Wing and in turn help all children become the best they can be, helping them to fly academically, socially and emotionally. The Turtle Wing scholarship committee was honored to have over 50 applications, and had a very difficult time selecting from such a great group of applicants.
The Jack Hooper Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Reid Yackel of Shiner Catholic High School. The scholarship committee considered if the applicants exhibited the qualities of Acceptance, Kindness, Inclusion, and Service. This might have been exhibited through volunteerism, work or life experiences. Reid’s application stood out because of his commitment to volunteering as a basketball and track coach for DeWitt Lavaca Special Olympics and also with the Miss Sparkles Pageant.
Sadie Thibodeaux, also a senior at Shiner Catholic High School, was selected to receive the Grow Wings Scholarship, which was restricted to students actively participating in Special Education or following a 504 Plan. Sadie’s struggles and triumphs that came along with being dyslexic are what qualified her for this scholarship. She exemplifies that perseverance pays off and that a diagnosis does not define your future. She also mentors with special needs children, incorporating equestrian activities.
The final scholarship, the Give Wings Scholarship, was directed towards applicants who are pursuing an education that will lead them to working with children with learning challenges in some way. Kallie Kubala, a senior at Schulenburg High School, was the winner of this final scholarship. Kallie hopes to work in education and has volunteered in her mother’s special education classroom along with helping youth while coaching swim, basketball and as part of the PAALS program.
The Turtle Wing scholarship committee decided to also award two additional workforce training scholarships. The recipients were both from Hallettsville High School. Cedric Womack plans to pursue a career in welding and Keene Bennetsen has been accepted to TSTC in Rosenberg to become a diesel mechanic. Turtle Wing Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization which helps children with academic, social-emotional, behavioral and/or developmental needs and provided Early Intervention and Supplemental Services to over 300 children last year with thousands more being impacted by Community Education & Advocacy programming. To learn more about Turtle Wing Foundation “like” their page on Facebook, visit www.turtlewingfoundation.org or contact Managing Director, Susie Shank, at 979-505-5090.