Each year, UALR Children International awards 16 high school seniors with the Hope Scholarship.  Students are awarded a $500 each for their post-secondary education and were chosen for their dedication and service to the community and for their strong academic achievement.  The competition is tough every year as seniors must have been accepted into the college or university of their choice, submit essays and meet ACT and GPA requirements.

Raven is among this year’s recipients.  She is a bright student who not only possesses academic excellence, but a deep passion and determination for life.  An honor roll student, Raven has overcome overwhelming odds and come out on top of what would normally take others out.  Her passion for life led to her successful fight against stage three Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer of the lymph nodes.

Raven credits her family with helping her through and to stay focused during this tough time.  “I was so sick and couldn’t function like normal, but my family was always there making me happy and helping me get my mind off things,” said Raven.  “They prayed for me often and I think that’s why I’m so much better today.”

Raven will enter the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the fall to pursue her degree in criminal justice.  Having grown up around police officers and a mother who was a volunteer parole officer, she’s always had an interest in the legal field.  “The staff at Children International is the best,” said Raven.  “They not only helped me, but they were careful to include and help my family too.”  She loves the summer programs at UALR-CI and advises others to take advantage of the many wonderful opportunities Children International has to offer.

Tamron, a fellow scholarship recipient, has been with Children International since the second grade.  She credits UALR-CI with giving her a firm foundation and countless volunteer opportunities she can take through life with her.  Tamron is a fighter who possesses a determination rarely found in someone her age.  No matter what circumstances where thrown at her, she has always come out on top.  That showed even in her school work.

Tamron has been accepted into Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, a private, liberal arts college that educates women to “think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.”

“My dedication and hard work won’t stop once I make the transition into college,” promised Tamron.  “It is my ultimate goal to make a difference in the lives of others, just as was done for me.  I know that attending college is my first step to making that dream my reality.”

We are certainly proud of our youth and the bright future that awaits them.  With the determination we’ve seen in them, there’s nothing they cannot accomplish.  This year’s award recipients will be recognized at the annual Family Fun Festival.

“On behalf of UALR Children International, we are honored to be able to award such talented and giving students with this scholarship,” said Susannah Beachboard, Youth Education Manager for UALR Children International.  “The winners embody what the Hope Scholarship is all about.”