Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council Graduating Seniors
Many 4th-8th grade Lone Star Leadership Academy campers take part in the Alumni Council one or more years after attending camp. Some motivated and dedicated young leaders continue their participation in the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council through their senior year of high school. Each year we recognize and highlight this select group of students upon their high school graduations. We hope all they have learned and experienced through Education in Action's programs as campers, council members, youth facilitators, and leaders of numerous service projects propels them to continue being active community leaders as they step out into adulthood and pursue their goals and dreams.
2019 Graduating Seniors
Maura Chapman, Highland School, Highland ISD
Maura will graduate as the valedictorian of her class. She actively participated in a variety of events during high school in order to pursue her passions and develop her leadership skills. Volunteer work is one of her passions. Maura organized and participated in over twenty service projects throughout high school, allowing her to earn the Silver Presidential Volunteer Service Award with 200 hours of volunteer work. She organized projects to feed those in need, aid a hurricane-stricken school, provide blankets for abused children, sew pillows for cancer patients, and more. Academics is another one of her passions. Maura is a member of the National Honor Society and passionate about extracurricular activities. She won multiple state awards from the University Interscholastic League in six events. Her favorite extracurricular activity is One-Act Play, from which she has earned eight awards. Maura also studied eight types of dance at her local dance studio for sixteen years. Leadership is another passion Maura pursues. She was selected to attend the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership conference in Houston and leads at her Church of Christ, giving her the opportunity to attend the North Texas Leadership Training for Christ conference annually. In the fall, Maura will attend the Texas Tech University Honors Program to major in Honors Arts and Letters so she may pursue a career in law. Maura attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy as a camper for two years and returned as a youth facilitator for three years. She has been on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. Maura stated, "I never could have reached this point without the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council and the camps that I attended in the first place. I owe my success to them because they allowed me to come out of my shell and humbly lead others. There's no doubt in my mind that I will use those skills for the rest of my life."
Sophia Deras, Carroll Senior High School, Carroll ISD
Sophia will graduate Cum Laude from Carroll Senior High School. She is a member of National Honor Society, a National Hispanic Scholar, and a National Merit Commended Scholar. She completed nine AP courses in her four years of high school and was awarded an AP Scholar with Distinction. Sophia has collected food for Northwest ISD's Snack Sack program for the past five years and donated a total of 4,000 assembled Snack Sacks to the district, enough to feed students at one elementary school for more than an entire year. For her efforts, she was awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards' Presidential Award in 2018. In anticipation of the end of her service project, Sophia trained other service-oriented students, and is proud to have six students continuing the project next year. Sophia was selected to be on the PBS show 'Road Trip Nation' as a part of their Texas cast; the season aired in September of 2018. She also attended the United States Coast Guard Academy's AIM program in which she traveled to the Academy and trained with Cadets. Sophia spent her Junior and Senior years working as a waitress at the Conservatory Senior Living Center, a job she has loved dearly. This fall, Sophia will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a Chancellor's Scholar to study Civil Engineering in the Honors College. Sophia attended the Austin and Houston Lone Star Leadership Academy camps and returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy as a Youth Facilitator five times across all three camp locations. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for six years. Sophia stated, “The Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council provided me with hands-on leadership experience I would not have received anywhere else, and made me aware of many opportunities outside of EIA in which I could participate.”
2018 Graduating Seniors
Anna Kimata, Punahou School, Hawaii
Anna Kimata will graduate from Punahou School in Hawaii this June. She is a Coca-Cola Scholar, a National Merit Scholar, and a member of National Honor Society. Anna is also a Girl Scout Ambassador and received her Gold Award this past year. In addition, she is the Editor-in-Chief of her school’s literary and art magazine, Captain of the Science Bowl Team, and a member of the Student Global Leadership Institute. She will attend Brown University in the fall as a student in the Program for Liberal Medical Education. While there, she is looking forward to exploring her interests in math, medicine, and philosophy. Anna has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for seven years. During her time as a member she has completed numerous service projects including organizing the collection of donations for the Ronald McDonald House of Houston and creating a math club to provide students with extra math help. Anna stated, “The Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council has helped me continue to stay connected with my Texas community through service. I am extremely grateful for the skills and relationships that I have built during my years as an Alumni Council member.”
Rohit Dsilva, DeBakey High School, Houston ISD
Rohit will graduate in the Distinguished Achievement Program and earned the Outstanding Leadership and Service Award the past two years at his high school. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Mathematics Club, and the Youth Ministry at St. Helen’s Catholic Church. In the fall, Rohit plans to major in engineering at one of the universities in Texas. Rohit participated in the Lone Star Leadership Academy-Austin camp and has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for six years. As a member of the Alumni Council, Rohit initiated and organized several service projects. He founded the Math Peer Tutorial and tutored high school kids in Algebra and Pre-Calculus. He conducted the Super Bowl of Caring Food Drive for the needy and sold 150 to 200 bags of non-perishable food at Kroger. He has helped the elderly at an assisted living facility by organizing games and activities. Most recently, he helped plant trees in the greater Houston area to protect and promote a healthy environment for all. Rohit stated, “The Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council has been a positive experience for me as it has not only broadened my perspective but also motivated me to take up responsibility to help others.”
2017 Graduating Seniors
John Bartee, Dayton High School, Dayton ISD
John will graduate as the valedictorian of his class with an AP Scholar Award and many school subject awards. He is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. He was a state qualifier in Business Professionals of America, earned a Superior rating for his solo at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, and helped his student council become Vice President School of their region. He served as the Senior Patrol Leader of his Boy Scout troop, led activities for Southeast Texas Catholic youth with the Diocese of Beaumont Youth Leadership Team, and served on the Junior Rodeo Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
John will attend the University of Dallas to study Computer Science. He was awarded the UD Trustee Scholarship and the UD Music Department scholarship. As part of the university’s Core Program, he will continue his studies at their campus in Rome for a semester during his sophomore year. John is an Education in Action Trailblazer having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps and returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps as a Youth Facilitator. He has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for five years. John’s Alumni Council service projects benefited his community directly through donations to a children’s advocacy center and donated Christmas cards to nursing home residents. John also participated in a Council-wide book drive to support West ISD after the May 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in Waco. John stated, “During my five years on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, I've been able to take the skills I learned during my time on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps and apply them to my life through everything I do."
Kollin Fitch, Sevier County High School, Sevier County ISD
Kollin will graduate in the top 10% of his class and is a member of the National Honor Society, president of the Sevierville Teen Board, and historian of the Science National Honor Society. For two years he served as president of the Keep Sevier Beautiful Teen Advisory Board while volunteering in the community over 130 hours at recycling, beautification, and planting events. In 2015 Kollin was selected as the sophomore delegate to attend the HOBY Leadership (Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership) conference in Nashville, TN. In 2016 he received the President’s Environmental Youth Award, the Youth Volunteer Trillium Award, and the President’s Volunteer Silver Award for over 220 hours of volunteer work with Sevier County Food Ministries. This fall Kollin will attend Angelo State University to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and a Masters degree to be an orthotic and prosthetic clinician. He also received the Bridge Scholarship to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville this summer. Kollin attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy - Houston/Galveston camp and returned to serve as a Youth Facilitator. He has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni council for five years. His first two annual service projects benefited the Wounded Warrior Project and Ronald McDonald House. Kollin’s 2014 service project involved volunteering for the Sevier County Food Ministries. His passion for helping others was the reason he continued to volunteer weekly and was inspired to start his own foundation, Project Neighbor Tree - “Branching out to those in Need”. The foundation raised enough money and personal care products to fill 500 bathroom tote bags for neighbors served through the Sevier County Food Ministries. Kollin’s most recent service project, Tennessee Wildfire Relief, provided items to help victims of the fall 2016 Tennessee wildfires. Kollin stated, “Leadership is not a quality I possessed at birth. For me, having a strong, solid foundation , which consist of many relationships with people who have influenced, supported, and encouraged me at home, school, and in the community setting, has given me the confidence to become a great leader."
Anang Parikh, Wakeland High School, Frisco ISD
Anang will graduate cum laude and is a member of the Independent Study and Mentorship (ISM) Program, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Spanish Honor Society for which he serves as treasurer. He is a violinist in the varsity orchestra and competed in DECA, where he placed as a Texas DECA State Finalist in 2017. He is treasurer of the North Dallas Youth Chapter of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which promotes education in the D/FW Metroplex and in India. He also served as a Student Ambassador for Frisco ISD. Anang plans to attend Indiana University Bloomington to major in marketing. He was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship and direct admission into the Kelley School of Business. Anang is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps as a Youth Facilitator. He has been a member of the Lone Star Youth Leadership Council for five years. For his service projects, Anang led a supply collection drive benefiting the Children’s Medical Center of Plano and Frisco Family Services. He has collected hundreds of books, magazines, and arts and crafts supplies for donation. Anang also collected books to help rebuild West ISD’s school libraries after the April 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in Waco. Anang stated, “Through the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, I was able to develop my leadership and organization skills while leaving an impact in my local community and building countless relationships with people from across Texas.”
Madison Taylor, William P. Clements High School, Fort Bend ISD
Madison is a member of the National Honor Society and Chinese Honor Society and served as historian and vice president for the Kiwanis Key Club.
She is a member of the Speech and Debate Team and Model United Nations. Madision founded both the Mock Trial Association and the Mandarin Club at her school. Madison studied Mandarin for four years and studied abroad in Taiwan at National Cheng Kung University. Madison enjoys studying languages and has started learning Arabic. This past winter Madison traveled to China as a Fort Bend ISD Global Initiative exchange student. Also during her senior year, she completed a Capstone research/seminar course in which she studied Immigration Law for the entire year. Over the past few summers, Madison has studied Constitutional Law and Rights Theory at Oxford University as well as Trial Advocacy at Columbia University. This fall she will spend the first semester of her college career at the University of Bath in England as part of a study program of American University in Washington, D.C. Madison will study International Relations at American University and plans to go to law school afterward. Madison attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy - Dallas/Fort Worth camp and has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for seven years. Each of her Alumni Council service projects involved helping animals or children. She has hosted supply drives for the Houston Humane Society, baked non-perishable dog and cat treats, hosted "help days" at local animal shelters (bathing dogs, cleaning up, etc.), made pillow cases to donate to children at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and collaborated with Clement's Key Club to make stuffed animals, quilts, and pillows to donate to Texas Children Hospital. Madison stated, “The Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council has truly helped me to become successful thus far. My time with the Council has helped me learn to be open-minded and to consider the needs of others before my own. I will use what I have learned through my college journey and hopefully in a career in International Law/Diplomacy."
2016 Graduating Seniors
Blake Bodin, Centennial High School, Burleson ISD
Blake will graduate at the top of his class, having taken numerous AP classes and passing his AP exams with 3s and 4s. As one of seven students selected to participate in a medical program offered through his high school, Blake spends two days a week at Texas Health Huguley Hospital and will earn a Certified Medical Assistant certificate upon graduation. Blake serves on student council and is an avid golfer. Blake will attend Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, to major in Chemistry. Blake is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps for two years as a Youth Facilitator. Blake has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for seven years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Blake joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. Blake collected 1,415 books for West ISD. The other six years of membership on the Council Blake raised money to buy supplies for, and made, fleece blankets for patients at Cook Children's Hospital Trauma Department. Over the years Blake has donated 60 plus blankets.
Nicholas Ciggelakis, Lake Ridge High School, Mansfield ISD
Nicholas is a member of the academic decathlon team, UIL academics, yearbook staff, and debate team. He has served as president of the debate team, president of UIL, photography editor for the yearbook, and historian of his senior class. He volunteers at the First Baptist Church in Mansfield and is active in his church's youth group. Nicholas will attend Texas A&M University in the fall to major in Political Science. Nicholas is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy-Dallas/Fort Worth camp as a Youth Facilitator. Nicholas has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for five years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Nicholas joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. In addition to collecting 450 books, he acquired class sets of classics and other literature to donate from his school district's textbook department. His service projects the other four years each involved collecting canned goods and clothing items for homeless and needy families. Benefiting organizations included Beautiful Feet Ministries, Dallas Life Foundation, Wesley Mission Center, and Mission Arlington.
Danielle DeLapaz, Ronald Reagan High School, North East ISD
Danielle will graduate summa cum laude and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a member of PALS, a program that encourages high school leaders to act as positive role models by becoming friends with elementary students. She is also involved in Lifeteen, the youth group at her church. Danielle has been dancing, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, modern, improvisation, and tap, for 14 years and is a pre-professional dancer at Collective Dance Artistry. She was chosen as an Overall Celebrity Teen Soloist and was a Finalist at the LA Dance Magic Dance Down. Danielle was invited to become a Hall of Fame All-Star Team member and will attend The Dance Awards in Las Vegas this summer. She has received both the Nuvo Dance Scholarship and the 24/7 Dance Scholarship. This fall Danielle will attend The University of Texas at Austin to major in math. Her future goal is to become an orthodontist. Danielle is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for eight years. Danielle completed the same service project, collecting over 200 pairs of socks for active duy and wounded military personnel, each of her eight years on the Council. In addition, she made and sold bracelets to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes research, collected teddy bears for the Ronald McDonald House, organized a teacher appreciation function, and treated the Coronado Assisted Living Center residents to a dance program called Dancing Petals.
Kaitlyn Jones, Wheeler High School, Wheeler ISD
Kaitlyn Jones, Wheeler High School, Wheeler ISD Kaitlyn will graduate in the top 5% of her class with a Distinguished Diploma. She made the Dean's List at Clarendon College where she took dual credit classes in math, history, anatomy, and physiology. She is a member of National Honor Society, student council, and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America). As a member of the UIL mathematics team, she advanced to regional competition three out of four years. Kaitlyn received a scholarship from, and was named Sweetheart of, the Wheeler Lions Club. This fall Kaitlyn will attend the University of Central Oklahoma to earn a bachelors degree in Science of Speech/Language Pathology. She then plans to transfer to the University of Oklahoma to earn a doctorate degree in audiology. Kaitlyn attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy-Houston/Galveston camp and has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Kaitlyn joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. She passed out flyers around town and collected 250 books for the cause. The other three years she provided tutoring services for her service project.
Elisabeth Teitelman, Wylie East High School, Wylie ISD
Elisabeth Teitelman, Wylie East High School, Wylie ISD Elisabeth will graduate in the top 4% of her high school class as a Distinguished Graduate. She currently serves as historian in National Honor Society and is student council president. She was also Air Force Junior ROTC Corps commander the first semester of her senior year. Elisabeth is a member of the Raider Nation Powerlifting Team, Raider2Raider Mentoring, Principal’s Advisory Council, and Academic UIL. Throughout her four years of high school, Elisabeth has completed over 1,500 service hours on her campus and in her community. She was awarded the Opportunity Award Scholarship, the Sul Ross Corps Scholarship, and an Air Force ROTC Type-7 Scholarship. In the fall, Elisabeth will attend Texas A&M University at College Station where she will be a cadet in the Fightin’ Aggie Corps of Cadets. Elisabeth will major in government, and, after earning her BA, will enter the Air Force as a Second Lieutenant to serve as an Intelligence Officer. Elisabeth is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for five years. For her service projects, Elisabeth collected hundreds of coats and jackets which she donated to the Wylie Christian Care Center. She also collected supplies and cash donations for In-Sync Exotics, a “Big Cat” rehabilitation center. For her service, Elisabeth was awarded the Raiders in Service Cord, the American Veterans Award, the National Sojourners Award, the Air Force Association Award, and the Community Service of Excellence Award.
Bedrick Topovich, North Hills Preparatory School, Irving ISD
Bedrick Topovich, North Hills Preparatory School, Irving ISD Bedrick will graduate from North Hills Preparatory School as an AP Scholar. He served as treasurer for the school video game club and plays trumpet and French horn in the school band. Bedrick is involved with his church and frequently participates in their Red Cross blood drives. Bedrick is currently undecided but plans to attend The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston, or Bentley University. Bedrick is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps for two years as a Youth Facilitator. Bedrick has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Bedrick joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. He collected 80 books for the cause. Bedrick's other service projects included putting together back to school and Christmas church band programs for his church congregation and gathering the neighborhood's stray cats, cleaning and feeding them, and taking them to a no-kill shelter in Irving for adoption.
Sam Walker, Keller High School, Keller ISD
Sam Walker, Keller High School, Keller ISD Sam will graduate with honors in the Distinguished Achievement Program. He is a member of the National Honor Society, an International Honor Thespian, and an AP Scholar. Sam was a member of two UIL One Act play companies, one of which made it to state. Sam earned a Green Cord for volunteering at least 100 hours each of his four years of high school. This fall, Sam will attend Southern Methodist University to major in mechanical engineering. He will also take technical theatre courses and participate in theatrical productions at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. He was awarded two academic scholarships, the Second Century Scholarship and the Discovery Scholarship from SMU. Sam is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps for five years as a Youth Facilitator. Blake has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for six years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Sam joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. Sam collected 800 books for West ISD. Sam's love of theatre led him to collect used and no longer needed costumes, props, and equipment from the Keller High School theatre department for redistribution to the middle school theatre departments that don't have budgets for these items. Sam's project included inventorying and notifying the Keller ISD middle schools of the available items. His other service projects included collecting supplies and money for the Humane Society of North Texas and the Boyd Wild Animal Sanctuary and organizing weekend and vacation food boxes for an elementary student in need.