We chose two again

2010-12-09_09-03-59.450We 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,

Samantha Harris

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.

Mrs. Sophia Carbajal ~ SFA 2013-14

We were out-of-town in March when the SFA Scholarship Stars awards social was scheduled.  So we asked Bryan’s parents to attend, in our place, and meet Mrs. Sophia Carbajal.  Yes, she is a married student and our first one.  I know how tough that can be because I also attended SFA while I was married.  The Alston’s enjoyed getting to know her and expressed how friendly she was to them.  She was about to graduate and was excited about what her future held.

 

Mrs. Sophia Carbajal SFA 2013-14 Recipient

Mrs. Sophia Carbajal
SFA 2013-14 Recipient

This all probably seems a little backwards…but for SFA you pick the recipient at the beginning of the year and then get to meet them at the end of the year. The student gets money each semester so they send a note each time.   Bellow is part of what she wrote in her January thank you note:

“Again I would truly like to thank you for your generous gifts.  I am so thrilled to be beginning my last semester at SFA.  I still have not made my final decision yet of what my plans are after college.  I know that there are so many opportunities available in my field.  I do plan to spend some time exploring those and maybe even go for my master’s degree.

I thank you for awarding me with your scholarship and for this chance to reach for the stars.  But mostly for believing in me and fellow students like me.  I hope that some day I can become an inspiration too and have the ability to help students who are looking to reach for their stars.”

Sophia has on her Hospitality chef’s coat, showing the Ax’em Jacks sign and is standing in front of a few of the plaques of endowed scholarships, one of which is Lauren’s.  Sophia works in the Alumni Office, where the Wall of Honor is, and we plan to go meet her soon.