Twenty-two high school seniors in McLennan County are being recognized for their volunteerism and service in the 39th annual Youth Citizenship Awards sponsored by the Rotary Club of Waco and the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Five of the students will be presented as award winners at a Rotary luncheon Monday at the Lions Den. One will be recognized as the Outstanding Youth Citizen.
All five finalists receive scholarship money with their awards. Judges use the Rotary Club’s motto of “Service Above Self” in selecting the award recipients.
Each nominee was chosen by his or her high school. Students submitted a detailed application listing their school achievements and volunteer activities.
A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with their volunteer efforts is part of the application. Finalists also are interviewed by a committee.
Parents: Shanna and Martin Sheffield
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Pole vault state qualifier; first-team all-district in football (team captain) and basketball (all-academic team in both); Axtell fishing team founder; Special Olympics peer assistant; UIL calculator applications team; UIL literary criticism academics team; Rotary Challenge team member.
Plans: Attend Baylor University for management information systems. Wants to manage his own cyber security business in Waco.
Ian Rex Hankhouse
Parents: Shannon and Jarred Hankhouse
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society president; class president; band president; FFA chapter president, vice president; lettered in football, powerlifting, tennis and track; Fellowship of Christian Athletes project with Operation Christmas Child; school supply collection to help Hurricane Harvey victims.
Plans: Accepted to Mays Business School at Texas A&M. Wants to pursue a career in either the military or business.
Parents: Lisa and Richard Allen
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Valedictorian; cheerleading captain; cross country, track, tennis and volleyball (academic all-district); UIL mathematics team, yearbook editor;student council; Beta Club; bake sale benefit for classmate with cystic fibrosis.
Plans: Study nursing at Tarleton State University, attend Texas A&M’s master’s program. Wants to become a registered nurse, nurse practitioner.
China Spring High
Parents: Tiffany and Chris Littleton
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society; lettered in soccer and football (academic all-state first team); student council; third-place individual at UIL state current issues and events (fourth-place team); DAR Good Citizen award.
Plans: Major in government at the University of Texas at Austin, then attend law school. Wants to become a trial, educational or civil rights lawyer.
Parent: Gloria Torres
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society; varsity cross country, powerlifting and track; Fellowship of Christian Athletes vice president.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College in radiologist technologist program, then seek bachelor’s degree at Tarleton State. Wants to become a radiologist.
Parents: Joley and Elton Tamplin
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Beta Club; FFA reporter and FFA career development events; tennis (regional qualifier); Peer Assisted Leadership (PALS); volunteer at Salvation Army men’s shelter.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College for basic courses and major in business with a minor in agriculture/horticulture. Wants to own farm and/or greenhouse.
La Vega High
Parents: Tanya and Chris McKinney
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society; letter- ed in basketball, football (member of 4A Division 1 state champion); THSCA Academic All-Star second team; Starfish youth mentor program at La Vega Intermediate; organizer for American Red Cross blood drives at school.
Plans: Attend Angelo State University on partial football scholarship and pursue a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. Interested in career in physical therapy or radiology.
Live Oak Classical
Parents: Christy and Dr. Steve Bradley
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Teen Leadership Waco; National Latin Exam (magna cum laude); National French Exam (silver medal); competitive cheer squad (co-captain); service projects at My Brother’s Keeper, Caritas, Salvation Army and Talitha Koum Institute.
Plans: Attend Belmont University in Tennessee to major in music therapy with a minor in French. Wants to become a certified music therapist and work with children with special needs.
Parents: Amy and Jeff Kunze
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Miss Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo (2018); National Charity League; Regional History Fair qualifier; volleyball, cheerleading (captain), soccer (all-district first team); Spanish peer tutor.
Plans: Major in biomedical science and minor in Spanish at Texas A&M. Wants to become a physician’s assistant.
Parents: Nannette and Gene Pankonien
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Valedictorian; student government president; National Honor Society vice president; Mart FFA president; Heart of Texas 4-H Club president; UIL calculator applications (first-place team three times); exhibits animals at livestock shows.
Plans: Major in animal science at Texas A&M. Wants to become a veterinarian.
Parents: Angie and Randy Adcock
Activities: National Honor Society; state science fair qualifier (sophomore); cheerleading; PALS, Link Crew; student council; Interact Club; Let’s Dance McGregor; McGregor 4-H officer; volunteers with Pack of Hope, pancake supper, mission trips; established Little Free Library at church playground.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College or Tarleton State University. Considering a career in education or nursing.
Parents: Sojung and Sungho Moon
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Merit Finalist; National AP Scholar; National Honor Society president; National Youth Orchestra (2018); TMEA All-State Orchestra; Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award (2018); teaches violin to children at Mission Waco; president of Songs for Seniors, which performs at nursing homes.
Plans: Major in international relations at Harvard University. Wants to incorporate the arts, especially music, for unconventional diplomacy.
Parents: Heather and Tracy Perkins
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: FCCLA co-president; Spanish Club president; Beta Club officer; National Honor Society; lettered in volleyball, basketball, golf, tennis, cross country and powerlifting; One-Act Play; volunteer projects include visiting students with FCCLA and visiting nursing home residents with Spanish Club.
Plans: Pursue degree in interdisciplinary education and minor in art education. Wants to become an art teacher at elementary level, then high school.
Parent: Stefanee Callaway
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society; A-B Honor Roll (three years), gifted and talented program; school ambassador for senior class.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College to earn associate’s degree then attend Texas Tech. Would like to become a flight attendant and visit places outside Texas.
Rapoport Meyer High
Parents: Melissa and Stephen Sloan
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Valedictorian; student body president; National Honor Society secretary; volleyball (captain); Waco Historical Society Belles and Beaus; volunteer with children’s ministry at church and went on numerous mission trips.
Plans: Major in social work and minor in psychology at Baylor, where she will be in the Honors College. Wants to earn a master’s in social work and move to India to work as a missionary.
Reicher Catholic High
Parents: Dianne and Mike Mendiola
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society president; TAPPS academic team; Reicher Charism Award; Robotics Club team captain; lettered in cross country and track; student council officer; organized Robotics Summer Camp for elementary students; campus ministry.
Plans: Study computer programming to earn degrees in computer science and mathematics. Wants to earn a master’s degree and work as a software developer.
Parents: Gina and Nelson Roberts
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Student council; lettered in cheerleading and softball; homecoming queen (2018); Fellowship of Christian Athletes; completed more than 30 hours of college credit in dual-credit program; assists twice a week in kindergarten class; went on four mission trips; youth camp leader in Arkansas; works with elementary students at cheer clinics.
Plans: Major in nursing at Tarleton State University.
Parents: Jennifer and J.C. Crow
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society president; State Healthy Texas Youth ambassador; Texas 4-H Gold Star; varsity choir; mountain biking team member; Junior League Softball World Series; Heart of Texas Sweetheart; volunteers with Pack of Hope and Mission Waco Christmas store; went on mission trip to Haiti.
Plans: Major in nutrition at Texas A&M College of Agriculture. Wants to become physician’s assistant, specialize in trauma or pediatrics in rural areas.
Valley Mills High
Parents: Maggie and Josh Thayer
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Honor Society president; senior drum major; student council secretary; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; cross country, track; Teen Leadership Waco; volunteer with Vacation Bible School and BARK in Clifton.
Plans: Major in marketing at Mary Hardin-Baylor Honors College. Wants to run a marketing and public relations firm that specializes in community outreach.
Vanguard College Preparatory
Parent: Vibha Goyal
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Merit Finalist; National Spanish Exam gold medalist; AP Scholar; Rotary Challenge team captain; Teen Leadership Waco; Chemistry Club president; robotics team founding member; Vanguard ambassador head; volunteers as Mountainview Mentor tutor, blood drive coordinator, and at hospitals.
Plans: Major in biochemistry or neuroscience. Wants to become either a neurosurgeon or a cardiothoracic surgeon.
Parents: Charlotte and Ron Henderson
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Valedictorian; Academic Achiever; AP Scholar with Honor; Mock Trial team; tennis, cross country; Waco Youth Council; Teen Leadership Waco; volunteer with National Charity League at Family Abuse Center and Caritas, mission trip to New Orleans.
Plans: Accepted into the Business Honors Program at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business. Considering business career and law school.
Parents: Karen and Randy Kolar
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Miss Westfest (2018-19); National Honor Society; cheerleading (co-captain); student council treasurer; Junior Historians; PALS; volunteer with Adopt-a-Grandparent, Meals on Wheels, Junior Catholic Daughters of America.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College, then transfer to a four-year college and earn bachelor’s in education. Wants to focus on children with learning disabilities at an elementary.