9 Local Graduating Fort Worth ISD Seniors Head to Their College of Choice

The North Texas Community Foundation has awarded more than $387,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors for 2016.

Scholarship recipients include 9 Fort Worth ISD students selected for the Community Foundation’s highly competitive Chesapeake Scholarship Fund. They received a combined $85,000 to fund their freshman years of college. Renewable for up to four years, the total award amount will reach $340,000 as long as the students maintain the appropriate academic standing.

The Chesapeake Scholarship Fund not only allows minority students to attend their top choice college or university, but enables them to complete their degree. Funds may be used for tuition, fees and books.

Applicants are evaluated on both academic and extracurricular performance. Each student must have applied to and been accepted by an accredited university or vocational school, have earned a high school grade point average of 3.0 or better, and be a student within Fort Worth ISD. Award recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 annually, making the total potential award for each student $80,000.

The Chesapeake Scholarship Fund was established in 2007 with a $2.5 million contribution from Chesapeake Energy and $1.25 million raised in a challenge match by the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas.

The 2016 Chesapeake Scholarship Recipients

The following Chesapeake Scholars were selected from a competitive field of 219 applicants.

Brenda Diaz Padron

  • Graduating from Green B. Trimble Technical High School
  • Attending University of Southern California

Brenda graduates third in her class of 413 students at Trimble Tech High School. She was very involved serving as the Spanish Club Secretary, Key Club President and was on the yearbook staff, link crew and debate team. She has placed in several University Interscholastic League journalism contests, including News writing, Feature writing and Editorial Writing.

She wants to start her own real estate business.

Gerardo Gallegos Arredondo

  • Graduating from South Hills High School
  • Attending Texas Christian University

Gerardo is ranked second in his class of 343 students at South Hills. He has won numerous awards including Honor Roll, Scorpion Scholar, AP Scholar Award, Superintendent Scholar Award and A.V.I.D. Student of the Year Award. He was the Whiz Quiz Team Captain, and founded the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Branch junior chapter. Through participating in the Advanced Academic Immersion program, he has engaged in college-level mathematics such as multivariable calculus and quantum physics.

He wants to be an engineer.

Fabian Hernandez

  • Graduating from Amon Carter Riverside High School
  • Attending University of Texas at Austin

Fabian is ranked first in his class of 264 students at Amon Carter Riverside. He participated in Whiz Quiz, Spanish National Honor Society, Upward Bound and the Texas pre-freshman Engineering Program. He was Magna Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam and placed first in District UIL Calculator Applications. He was on the Dean’s List and has received AP Scholar with Distinction Award and National Merit Commended Scholar Award. He helped found the Math Help Room, a peer-to-peer tutoring resource after school.

He is interested in engineering and developing a new biofuel.

Terria Jackson

  • Graduating from Eastern Hills High School
  • Attending Grambling State University

Terria is ranked second of 203 students at Eastern Hills High School. Taking almost all AP courses, she was a member of the chess team, United Voices for Change, Girls, Inc. Poetry Club, Student Council and National Honor Society. She has received several awards in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) for her leadership, achievements and willingness to serve.

She is interested in studying criminal justice

Rafael Madrigal, III

  • Graduating from R.L. Paschal High School
  • Attending Boston University

Rafael graduates 68th of 575 from Paschal High School. He has received many awards and recognitions including National Hispanic Merit Scholar, Biology Olympiad competitor, AP Scholar with Honors and Superintendent Scholar. He was selected from a national applicant pool to participate in (HS)2, an accelerated study of math, science, college planning and education for five weeks during three consecutive summers in Colorado. He also participated in E12, an engineering program for high school students sponsored by Texas A&M.

He wants to pursue neurosurgery and medicine.

Mercedes Mendez

  • Graduating from Arlington Heights High School
  • Attending University of North Texas

Mercedes graduates 31st of 400 students at Arlington Heights. She has earned dual credit at TCC in Government, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, U.S. History and English Comp. 1 and 2. She is a Yellow Jacket Scholar and member of the National Honor Society. She is an AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination) leader, is involved in the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, Fort Worth Chapter’s Latinas in Progress and served on the Student Council Committee.  She was Vice-President of Interact Club, which carried out hands-on service projects and helped establish leadership skills.

She wants to pursue passionate work that allows her to help others.

Estephanie Olvera

  • Graduating from South Hills High School
  • Attending Texas A&M University

Estephanie graduates 22nd of 345 students at South Hills and is the first in her family to go to college. She served on the Student Innovation Leadership Committee and was the treasurer of the Art Club. She played on the indoor soccer team for four years. She has received numerous awards including the Ann Brannon Award for U.S. History, Outstanding Volunteer Service, AB Honor Roll and Director of Athletic Scholar Soccer.

She will pursue a career in family law or family therapy.

Krupa Patel

  • Graduating from Texas Academy of Biological Sciences
  • Attending Texas Christian University

Krupa graduates 21st of 80 students at Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences and with a Distinguished Diploma. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Ambassador’s Program and has been involved in Student Government as Historian, Secretary and Treasurer. She is the Campus Chair and Vice President of External Affairs for United Voices for Change, which is a district-wide organization that campaigns major community issues such as bullying and teen driving safety.

She wants to study Pediatric Sports Medicine and Pediatric Neuropsychiatry.

Amanda Toledo Barrios

  • Graduating from R.L. Paschal High School
  • Attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Amanda graduates 26th of 575 students from Pascal High School. She was selected to participate in (HS)2, an accelerated study of math, science, college planning and education for five weeks during three consecutive summers in Colorado. She also participated in E12, an engineering program for high school students sponsored by Texas A&M. She is an AP Scholar and Superintendent’s Scholar.  Amanda played soccer all 4 years and was the section leader of the Varsity Orchestra playing the viola.

She desires to be an Aerospace Engineer.

Including previous Chesapeake Scholars whose scholarships were renewed, the Fund has awarded a total of $243,900 for 2016. Next year will be the tenth and final year of the Chesapeake Scholarship Fund.


Have Questions? Let's Chat.

Together, we can cultivate a more vibrant and resilient community where all North Texans can thrive.