Glen from LHS Alumni Association called me over a month ago. He had narrowed down our choice of recipients by the qualifications we had given him…he always does a great job. He told me “I know I have always given you girls to choose from but this year I have several great guys I want to tell you about.” I told him we didn’t care if they were male or female…we just wanted to help deserving youngsters. He said “I don’t know if you know this family or not but they go to our church…Jeff and Tracy Portwood and their son is John. He is active in the young group, he plays on the golf team, he was thinking about Pharmacy as his possible degree, he has a very good GPA and more good qualities.” I let him tell me all about John and when he finished I laughed…in a good way…and said, “We know the Portwoods very well, they are our friends, and Yes, John is a great young man.” I told him how much the Portwoods helped us after Lauren passed away and that the whole family were kind, helpful, generous people.
Glen went on the tell me about several girls and another young man. He said he was really impressed with him when he interviewed him. Yes, all students applying for Alumni Association scholarships are personally interviewed along with other criteria they have to meet. But on to the next young man. He told me how he was on the robotics team, the swim team, he was already a CNA but wanted to be a Nurse Practitioner, he worked at the Boys and Girls Club and more good qualities. He then told me his name was Thomas Powell.
After Glen told me about all the possible candidates, Bryan and I talked about them and chose the two young men. Scholarship Awards night was on May 12, 2015 and we got to visit with them and have our picture taken. We were talking with Thomas and asked who his parents were. He told us Gary and Suzy and Bryan and I just looked at each other and started laughing…they were our “old neighbors” from Brookhollow. We had not recognized Thomas, because he was 12 when we saw him last and we knew him as “TJ” not Thomas. Lauren had even babysat him, his twin and their little sister.
Wow…how fitting to have two quality young men…that Lauren personally knew…from families that are our friends and were “there for us” after Lauren passed away. We are so happy to award these young men the Lauren Alston Memorial Scholarship for Lufkin High School for 2015.