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.
2023 Graduating Seniors
Sonal Alla, St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Austin, TX
Sonal is will graduate with honors, is the co-president of the Medical Society, HOSA, Indian Affinity Club, and the Social Justice in Science club. She was awarded a Service Learning Distinction the past two years for her commendable service work. She has also received the History 10 Book Award for outstanding performance in History 10 and the Rhodes College Book Award for outstanding commitment to her city. She is a National Merit Commended Student and received a certificate of excellence for having the highest scoring poster at the IBB Undergraduate Research Symposium for her work on Alzheimer’s research. Sonal is involved in Opportunity X, an organization that provides science research opportunities to under-resourced students, and works with her nonprofit, Refugee Support Alliance, to provide healthcare assistance to refugees. In the fall, she will attend Georgetown University to major in Human Sciences on a pre-med track. She is also interested in studying neuroscience, health policy, and healthcare reform. Sonal is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps and returned as a Youth Facilitator on the Houston/Galveston camp for two years. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. Sonal’s projects benefitted both underserved youth and refugees and included an after-school science research program for students at a Title 1 middle school and assembling care packages for local refugees. Sonal stated, "The Lone Star Leadership Academy has allowed me to foster leadership skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life."
Jacob Pasteur, The Oakridge School, Arlington, TX
Jacob will graduate from The Oakridge School and is a member of the National Honor Society. Jacob is involved in his community and served as the Senior Class Treasurer. Jacob works as a youth golf coach at his local country club. In the fall, Jacob will attend Syracuse University and will major in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. He was awarded the SU Orange Distinction academic scholarship at Syracuse as well as the Founders Scholarship at TCU. Jacob 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 Youth Leadership Council for six years. Most of Jacob's service projects have benefited Tarrant County Food Bank and the Met Church’s SnackSack Program. His service project this year was the co-founding of his own nonprofit organization, “Finding Fine Arts”. This organization provides grants, scholarships, and other opportunities for students interested in the fine arts who do not have the means to participate. “The Alumni Council allowed me to discover strengths I didn’t know I had, which led to more opportunities to help my community.”
Kenzie White, Columbia High School, Columbia-Brazoria ISD
Kenzie will graduate as salutatorian in her class. She is president of her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, student body and council treasurer, a thespian board member, debate captain, band section leader, book club president, and a member of the UIL Literary Criticism and UIL Science teams. She has competed at the state tournament in congressional debate for the past two years, and volunteers during her free time in peer tutoring and in her library. Kenzie plans to attend Texas A&M with a major in Physics and a minor in Education, and hopes to become a physics teacher upon graduation. Kenzie 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. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for five years. During her time on the council, Kenzie established two little libraries, donated stuffed animals and clothes to children in CPS, and decorated cards for people with OCD and related disorders. Kenzie stated, "All of my lessons and service projects have taught me responsibility and what it means to put all of my effort into doing the best I can to help the people around me."
2022 Graduating Seniors
Addison Bouillion, Georgetown High School, Georgetown ISD
Addison Bouillion will graduate in the top 1% of her class. She was the president of her high school's National Honor Society, involved in Mu Alpha Theta, and was a four year member of her school's drill team. Addison loves volunteering in her free time and has completed multiple service projects throughout her high school career including hosting multiple food drives, repurposing old shopping carts, and volunteering with kids through both school and church programs. Addison is undecided in where she will be attending college, but she hopes to pursue biomedical engineering. She participated in the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps, both the Austin and the Houston locations, and returned to both of those camps as a Youth Facilitator. Addison is a two year member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. Both of Addison's service projects through the Alumni Council were partnered with the Salvation Army's seasonal Angel Tree program. In only two years of completing the service project, and with amazing help from all of the staff, students, and families from her high school, she was able to provide 54 kids with Christmas gifts in 2020 and 106 kids with gifts in 2021. Addison stated, "The Lone Star Leadership Alumni Council provided me with all of the resources that I needed to become a better leader. Not only did it improve my leadership skills, but it helped me to find volunteer work and service projects that I was truly passionate in, letting me focus on the things that I really loved."
Amber Frantz, Boerne Samuel V. Champion High School, Boerne ISD
Amber is graduating 10th in her class as an AP Capstone Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, and Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Representative. She is a member of National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Autism Speaks, and is this year's Student Council President. She has been on the varsity swim team four years, serving as team manager the past three. Amber started a Red Cross Club at her school and serves as the club's president. She also tutors students. This past summer Amber volunteered at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio with a focus in neuroscience. Her AP Research paper was accepted for publication in the Journal of Student Research. Amber has also served on the school board's Long Range Steering Committee as a student representative. Amber will attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall with a major in neuroscience and a minor in chemistry. She attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy Houston camp and has been a member of the Alumni Council for two years. Both of Amber’s service projects functioned through her Red Cross Club and included raising $860 for the American Red Cross and recruiting members to make holiday cards for veterans and service members. Amber stated, "The Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council was my inspiration behind starting a Red Cross Club. The Council gave me the initiative to lead on my own, rather than follow the examples others have already set in place. As a result, I have grown to be a more proactive leader."
Lily Tran, Coronado High School, Lubbock ISD
Lily is graduating in the top 10 students of her class and is a National Merit Commended Scholar. She is the captain of her varsity cheerleading squad and was named All-American cheerleader. She participates in winter drumline, Student Council, dance, and UIL Calculator and UIL Spelling, competing at the State level. Lily is also the Service Project Coordinator of her school’s National Honor Society and is in Chick-Fil-A’s Leader Academy to lead volunteer projects. In the fall, Lily will attend Texas A&M University to study biochemistry with academic scholarships and plans to attend medical school. Lily is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three camps as a participant, and returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps as a Youth Facilitator. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for five years. Most of Lily’s projects have been focused on giving back to her hometown community of Lubbock. She has helped and shown appreciation towards the Ronald McDonald House, leaders in her community, homeless shelters, and essential community members, such as hospital employees. Lily stated, "Over the years, my leadership abilities and confidence have grown through the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, its lessons, and service projects!"
2021 Graduating Seniors
Christine Rong, Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston ISD
Christine Rong is Kinder HSPVA's National Honor Society President and an officer for the Science National Honor Society. Christine actively participates as a State Cabinet Member in the Junior Statesmen of America and is the District Lead for Diversify Our Narrative HISD, an organization dedicated to advocacy for the inclusion of anti-racist texts in high school curriculums. Additionally, she is apart of other activism organizations such as The Period Pact and Houston Activism Fair. Christine plans to attend American University with a major of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government. Christine participated in the Lone Star Leadership Academy – Austin/San Antonio and Houston/Galveston camps and returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps as a Youth Facilitator for two years. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. During Christine's membership on the Alumni Council she led the Music To You Service Project where she brought choral and orchestral performances to senior homes and elementary schools, spreading holiday cheer and necessities for the winter. This year, through a virtual setting, she hosted Calcutta, an International Arts Workshop, in collaboration with National Honor Society and Calcutta International School in India. Christine stated, "My experience in the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council has allowed me to become a better leader by teaching me the importance of listening and being open-minded."
2020 Graduating Seniors
Camille Abaya, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston ISD
Camille will graduate with the Carnegie Vanguard Distinction Medallion and is a member of the National Honor and Science National Honor Societies. She served as Junior Statesmen of America Debate Agent, Interact Rotary Cultural Performance Committee Chair, and a 30-hour Famine Leader. She sings, plays violin, teaches confirmation, and altar serves at her church and has played violin in the Houston Youth Symphony for seven years. Camille received the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards. Her work as President of the first Discovery Squad Executive Committee of the Children’s Museum of Houston and participation in the Museum’s Kids’ Committee, Action Committee, and Discovery Squad, earned her the 2020 Jhin Family Award. Camille plans to attend Baylor University, Trinity University, or UT Austin, to major in biology and minor in education and was awarded academic merit scholarships at both Baylor and Trinity. Camille is a 7th year member of the Alumni Council, an Education in Action Trailblazer having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps, and returned to camp five times as a Youth Facilitator. Her Alumni Council service projects included a book drive for West ISD, an Easter performance at Treemont Retirement Community, and selling brownies to raise funds for Child Advocates. Her most recent service projects were in conjunction with the annual Carnegie Vanguard Interact Club International Festival where she coordinated an annual cultural showcase. She directed this production by founding the International Festival Cultural Performance Committee, mentoring underclassmen and training them to run the showcase after she graduates. Camille stated, "My time with the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council single-handedly prepared me for all of my leadership positions and revealed to me my passion for education."
Grayson Chapman, Highland High School, Highland ISD
Grayson will graduate as valedictorian of her class, is a member of National Honor Society, and leads her school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes program. She also participates in UIL Academics, One Act Play, and has been a dancer for 15 years. Grayson is involved in her church's youth group and enjoys being a counselor at church camps. She also spends a lot of her free-time volunteering at a nonprofit Christian school and her dance studio. In the fall, Grayson plans to attend either Texas Tech University or Abilene Christian University to major in Child and Family Services. She was awarded the highest academic scholarship at both schools including the Presidential Merit Scholarship at TTU and the Presidential Scholarship at ACU. Grayson has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for three years and returned as a Youth Facilitator after attending the Austin/San Antonio and Houston/Galveston camps. For her service projects, Grayson collected books to help rebuild Mitchell Elementary's library after Houston was affected by Hurricane Harvey and helped collect and tie blankets for children at High Plains Children's Home. Grayson stated, "I wouldn't be where I am right now in life without the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council and the camps I attended. They taught me many leadership skills that I will use throughout the rest of my life and I am very grateful for that."
Riley Knapp, Young Men's Leadership Academy, Fort Worth
Riley will graduate fourth in his class with the Superintendent's Scholar Award. Riley is an active member of the Youth in Model Railroading Club and Whiz Quiz. He likes to play piano and participates in jazz recitals every fall at TCU. Riley volunteered at his church to help make and pack thousands of meals with Kids Against Hunger. Riley will attend either Texas Tech University's Honor College to major in Landscape Architecture or the University of Colorado at Boulder to major in Urban Planning and Design. Riley attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy Austin/San Antonio and Houston/Galveston camps and has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. Most of Riley's Alumni Council service projects focused on helping the hungry including organizing his peers to volunteer at the local food bank and organizing his school's after school program to make 250 sandwiches for a local homeless shelter. Riley stated, "Being part of the Alumni Council made me a better leader because while I had participated in plenty of community service projects before this, I'd never led one. Nothing is a substitute for first-hand experience, and I became a much better leader by leading the service projects."
Emma Lee, William P. Clements High School, Fort Bend ISD
Emma is a member of the Science National Honor Society, English National Honor Society, and Clements FFA. She has been involved in FFA since her freshman year, competing on the floriculture team for three years, and serving on the officer team for two years. On the floriculture team, she placed first in the state as an individual and second as a team. Emma is an AP Scholar with distinction and has received academic excellence from her school for all four years. In the future, Emma plans to major in Food Science and is deciding between Texas A&M, Louisiana State University, and California Polytechnic State University. Emma is an Education in Action Trailblazer having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps and returned to the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps as a Youth Facilitator. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for six years. Emma loves to incorporate her hobbies into her service projects, having sewn pillowcases for the Texas Children’s Hospital, crocheted squares for Warm Up America, and cooking for her friends and family to get underwear donations for Undies for Everyone. She has also collected toys for her district’s Shared Dreams program as well as packaged basic necessities such as toothbrushes and socks for the homeless in her area. Emma stated, "The Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council has made be a better leader through the SHINE lessons, my annual service projects, and Youth Facilitator opportunities. I am able to apply what I learn through SHINE, such as communication, organization, and focus, to my interactions with other people which have allowed me to become who I am today."
Lindsi Thormahlen, Navarro High School, Navarro ISD
Lindsi will graduate in the top 1% of her class, is a member of the National Honor Society, and has been awarded Navarro High School academic excellence awards for Dual Credit US History, English III AP, and Spanish II. Lindsi is also a member of the Navarro FFA in which she competes in Farm Business and received the top judger award two years in a row. She is involved in 4-H Shooting Sports and was on the Texas Smallbore Pistol team that won first place at Nationals. Lindsi is a 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador and has participated in numerous youth outreach events. She plans to attend Texas A&M at College Station to obtain a degree in Petroleum Engineering after which she plans to earn an MBA. Lindsi participated in the Lone Star Leadership Academy Austin/San Antonio camp as well as the Houston/Galveston camp. She has been on the Alumni Council for six years. For two years she tutored students. The other four years she raised money she used to create Birthdays in a Bag that contained all items needed to have a birthday party for mothers at the family violence shelter that might not otherwise be able to provide a birthday celebration for their kids. Lindsi stated, "The Alumni Council made me a better leader because it opened my eyes to new ways in which I can better understand others which helps me, help them, in more specific ways."
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.