Five EPISD students have received the prestigious Terry Foundation scholarship to attend the University of Texas at El Paso this fall, while a student from El Paso High School will get a full-ride at Standford University after being named a Gates Millennium Scholar.
The Terry Foundation in partnership with UTEP awarded the full-ride scholarship to 14 Texas high-school graduates who show promise as future leaders. The following students earned the Terry Scholars distinction: Gabriel Roman Herrera and Sheridan Crenshaw, Coronado High; Proga Fahmi Hassan, El Paso High; Luis G. Hinojos, Franklin High; and Danielle S. Narimissaei, Silva Health Magnet.
“It makes me feel really honored to have been selected for this award out of a huge pool of students,” Hinojos said. “It’s not just an award to attend school. You are welcomed into the Terry family, so you get counseling, partnerships, friendships. I am very fortunate to be part of this incredible support system.”
Franklin senior Luis Hinojos was honored to be selected out of more than 400 applicants.
He hopes to pursue a degree in political science and a minor in biomedical engineering before attending law school.
“I don’t have to worry financially for my undergrad studies, which will be a great lead in when I pursue law school,” Hinojos said. “My goal is to become a medical lawyer.”
To be eligible, students must meet academic criteria, as well as demonstrated leadership and financial need. UTEP has already started making the rounds, presenting awards to students at their campuses.
For El Paso High senior Proga Fahmi Hassan, the scholarship helped her decide to stay in El Paso to pursue her studies.
“I didn’t think I would get I because I had done everything to go to UT Austin. Receiving this award definitely changed my plans,” she said. “At the end of the day, I love what the Terry Foundation stands for because of all the community service the organization does.”
Hassan also wants to go into the biomedical field and eventually go to medical school.
“I didn’t realize how many more opportunities there were for me at UTEP compared to UT. This is the best place for me,” she said. “Now I don’t have to worry about money, so I can focus on school.”
The El Paso High student is excited to walk across the stage next week at graduation.
“I am going to remember my teachers the most. The school is so beautiful, the teachers are the ones that made the biggest impact on me,” Hassan said. “They made you excited about whatever subject it was they were teaching. There’s so much support here.”
Fellow El Paso High student and class valedictorian Pierce Davis has been awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship – one of only 300 students to receive the award nationwide.
“It felt to me like all that hard work in high school had really paid off. It made a huge difference for the university that I wanted to attend,” Davis said. “I called my parents right away to let them know that everything was going to be alright because I got the Gates scholarship. It was a really cool feeling. They were really thrilled about it.”
The senior has big plans after high school – attend Stanford University and eventually become a neuroscientist or bio-engineer.
“I have always been a STEM person. That’s the reason I chose Stanford because they are one of the few schools that has this bio-engineering major,” he said. “It is something that really interests me because it opens up a lot of doors.”
He is looking forward to starting his studies in the fall but will always call El Paso High home.
“It’s a bittersweet moment. I’m leaving the place I have called home for the past four years,” Davis said. “I really realized what a great community we have here and what a great job the district does of building that foundation for a lot of high school students that are transitioning to the next level of higher education. I think the biggest takeaway for me is that I know if I come back I am still going to have that support system. I am going to have the morals and the foundation that the District instilled in me.”
Story by Alicia Chumley – EPISD