We chose two recipients again this year for the Lauren Alston Memorial Scholarship in Hospitality. Adrianna Damani and Samantha Harris both impressed us with their heartfelt essays and excellent grades. Although they both sent eloquent thank you notes I wanted to share Samantha’ s note with everyone as she will be graduating in December.
August 22, 2014
Mr. and Mrs. Alston,
My name is Samantha Harris, and I am the grateful recipient of the Lauren Alston Scholarship. I am a Hospitality Administration major heading into my senior semester at Stephen F. Austin State University, from Ft Worth. After graduation in December, I plan on moving to Lewisville, Texas with my husband, and pursuing a career in event management.
2014 has been a year of ups and downs for me. In April, my husband and I decided to get married at the Fort Worth Medical Plaza ICU when my dad’s health took a serious decline, and we lost him shortly after. The loss I felt, and still feel, is indescribable. Afterwards, the thought of leaving my mom and sister behind to come back and finish school was almost depressing. I even considered transferring to a school closer to home, but I knew my dad would want me to come back and finish, especially so close to graduation. While growing up, my grandfather didn’t give my dad the support he needed to go to college expecting him to follow in his footsteps and take over the family air conditioning business. It was something my dad regretted immensely because it put up so many road blocks as he went through life. Because of this he always reiterated the importance of a college education, and that no matter what, he would make sure that we both had the ability to make a living and support ourselves.
Your support through this scholarship for my last semester is not only allowing me to fulfill my dream of a college degree, but also my dad’s dream for me. You have taken a weight off both my shoulders and my mom’s, and for that I am eternally grateful.
With great appreciation,
And Samantha that makes us happy also. We strive to reach out and help others as Lauren did. We give scholarships in her memory, to give back as she also received scholarships, to help others fulfill their dreams of a college degree like she was able to achieve and also so she isn’t forgotten. God bless you on your life’s journey and please lend someone else a hand along the way.