Bosco Nkunzurwanda spoke very little English when he arrived in Dallas from a refugee camp in Rwanda 18 months ago. His father died there and left his mother to raise four children alone. This morning, Bosco and 31 other Lake Highlands High School seniors learned they’ll receive college scholarships from the Lake Highlands Women’s League. Bosco will enroll in UTA’s biomedical engineering program in the fall then proceed on to medical school. He plans to become a surgeon.
Bosco’s English is better today, but he was emotional. Mostly, he shared repeated “thank yous.”
Johanna Patricio Bueno was in anatomy class this morning working on an ingestion lab when she received a request to meet in the auditorium foyer ASAP.
“I got all my things and ran over here,” gasped Johanna, who will study at TWU to become a bilingual teacher. “I can’t wait to call my parents. I know they’re going to cry – this means a lot. Wow, this is a blessing for us.”
Both of Johanna’s parents were born in Mexico, and she admits they have mixed feelings about her next big adventure.
“They’re excited that I get to explore college, but, at the same time, they are sad. I’m their baby. Watching me move away will be hard for them.”
Daniel Truong is the fifth of the 5 outstanding Truong kids who’ve made their mark on the LHHS campus. He’s the first, though, to attend Texas A&M, where he’ll study kinesiology and prep for medical school.
“We’ve all chosen different paths,” said Daniel laughing, clearly accustomed to answering questions about his accomplished older siblings. He, also, was itching to call his mom.
“She’ll say she’s proud of me – typical mom stuff – and how she always knew I could do it.”
Adyari Ortiz was focused more on her siblings than her parents.
“I’m the first generation to graduate high school and go to college, so I feel like I set a good example for my smaller brother and sister,” Adyari said. “I feel like this is a great accomplishment. I’m so happy.”
Blake Addison’s mom is a substitute teacher at C.C.D.C. (Christian Childhood Development Center at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church), and his dad is a firefighter. He supplements that with a part-time job waiting tables at Blue Sushi Saki Grill in Preston Hollow Village, but he knows it won’t be easy to achieve his dream of going to Texas A&M and then medical school.
“School is important to me,” Blake said. “I’m paying so much to go to college and learn. I have to fight for my education, so have to sit down and focus to get the grades.”
While Blake and I were chatting, school announcements shared the news he’d be going to regionals in golf.
Emily Grace Starr, one of the top ten students in the Class of 2019, will study business at the University of Texas.
“Knowing that this money from the Women’s League home tour will help me go to school, and that I have the community of Lake Highlands supporting me is a really good feeling,” she told me. “I’m looking forward to new experiences, meeting new people and getting involved, but I will miss the traditions of Lake Highlands – I’ve lived here my whole life.”
Kevin Regan, a future business major at Texas A&M, also voiced appreciation for Women’s League members.
“During the interview process, the women were genuinely interested in my success and my education. I knew a lot of them from the neighborhood, and ever since elementary school I’ve felt supported by them and by the community.”
These outstanding Wildcats will receive Lake Highlands Women’s League scholarships at a ceremony later this month at LHHS: Ana Acosta, Blake Addison, Temidire Adelakun, Amour Alier, Brendan Bouldin, Johanna Patricio Bueno, Samuel Bugni, Mary Cade, Allison Cannatti, Nicole Clifford, Rebeca Contreras, Diego Lara Garcia, Christian Gonzales, Ethan Horstman, Natalia Ibarra, Lily Jenkins, Luke Moran, Christina Murphy, Bosco Nkunzurwanda, Edith Nwosu, Gabe Olivo, Esperanza Orozco, Adyari Ortiz, Barbara Raygoza, Kevin Regan, Isaac Solorio, Emily Starr, Jacob Stevens, Tucker Thomas, Swamy Trejo, Daniel Truong and Ikechi Umeh.