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Press Release

High School Seniors to Receive Scholarship, Share Stories at TASB Governance Camp

Austin — Five high school seniors will be awarded Student Voice Scholarships, to be presented at the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Governance Camp in Galveston on March 4. Recipients will receive $1,500 from sponsor Walsh Gallegos Trevino Kyle & Robinson P.C. 

More than 100 Texas high school seniors applied for the scholarship. Winners were selected based on their individual stories, contributions to their community, and their use of “student voice” to improve their schools. 

In addition to receiving the scholarship, each student will participate in the Student Voice Scholarship Panel discussion during the first general session of Governance Camp on March 4. This panel gives school board trustees the opportunity to hear Texas public school students share their unique public school journeys and experiences.  

Paula Maddox Roalson, an attorney at Walsh Gallegos and the moderator of the Student Voice Scholarship Panel, says the event is empowering for students. 

“When we talk about student voices in terms of sharing information from their individual experiences, one of the things that we discover is that, collectively, we have a lot more in common than we do differences,” says Roalson. “So, I'm proud to be part of this project each year and I'm so proud that our law firm is able to partner with TASB on this because, to me, it's one of the most important things that we do.” 

The winners of this year’s scholarship are: 

  • Sofia Diaz, Alvarado ISD, Region 11: Diaz is active in school yearbook, school broadcast, UIL Academics, and NHS, and she is a Young Texan Ambassador. She is very attuned to the detriment of self-body image and body dysmorphia and eating disorders among young people. Diaz thinks schools could help by making nutrition education a requirement.   
  • Journie Graham, Hutto ISD, Region 13: Graham is a poet who enjoys helping others, particularly domestic violence survivors. She is graduating in the top 10% of her class and has been accepted to Texas A&M, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and the University of Houston. She plans to pursue biomedical engineering. 
  • Skylar Carr, Hamilton ISD, Region 12: Carr is involved in numerous extracurricular activities, including athletics and theater arts, and is Hamilton ISD’s school mascot, “Sparky” the Bulldog. Carr has overcome many personal challenges and believes in treating others with humility, empathy, and compassion.  
  • Jackson Turner, Llano ISD, Region 13: Turner is an active and engaged student who participates in cross-country running and serves as the Llano High School’s marching band’s head drum major. Turner believes it’s important to give students an opportunity to practice using their voices to advocate for themselves and their beliefs in order to prepare them to do so as adults. 
  • Alexa Vela, Pearland ISD, Region 4: A child of immigrants, Vela has dedicated herself to creating a more just and inclusive society through active engagement in community service and mentoring other English as a Second Language students to promote a sense of equity. Her student-led initiative, “Adelante,” supports the overlooked community within her school and helps these students with access to information in Spanish regarding college and career endeavors.    

TASB’s Governance Camp will take place March 2-5. Learn more about the conference and register

About TASB

TASB is a nonprofit organization established in 1949 to serve local Texas school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.4 million public school students.