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This time of year is filled with photographs and social media posts of excited students beginning a new school year.  For many, this time of year marks the beginning of their post-high school studies, whether in community college, university, or technical school.  It is an important time for those post-high school students to know that he/she has the support of loved ones, as well as those who have chosen to endow him/her with a scholarship.

For many years, Palacios Area Fund (“PAF”), through Communities Foundation of Texas (“CFT”), has assisted individuals and families in setting up scholarship fund accounts that have benefited many Palacios High School graduates.  Upon the passing of my husband (and PHS science teacher), Warren Morris III, I wanted to do something to honor his memory that would, at the same time, benefit those he loved to teach.  A scholarship fund seemed a natural fit and many of his family members, friends, students and associates were thrilled to be able to make a meaningful gift that would go toward an educational scholarship for those students entering a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field of study. 

I turned to Mrs. Sally Kurtz, Coordinator of PAF, and explained our goals and what we expected the unique requirements would be for a graduating student to be awarded a scholarship.  Mrs. Kurtz immediately began organizing the paperwork and accepting contributions for the scholarship fund.  Mrs. Kurtz explained that we would follow the same award process as other PAF scholarship funds.  That would include a Scholarship Committee that would meet to review all applications and nominate students for each of several scholarships available.  Some members of the Committee were, like me, scholarship fund representatives, and others were members of the community.  The process was interesting and very objective, but the real reward came when the awards were given to each deserving student.  They knew at that moment that they had the support of their community, along with additional funds to help them meet needs such as tuition, books, transportation costs or living expenses.

I have been able to share each award with the donors to Mr. Morris’s scholarship fund and many wish to keep his memory alive through future donations to the fund.  Please consider either organizing a scholarship fund or contributing to one of PAF’s varied scholarships and support our PHS graduating seniors!

Written by Debbie Morris

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