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East Aldine District expands funding of scholarships

East Aldine Executive Director Richard Cantu addresses Graduates

45 Aldine Seniors receive $15,000; 125 Avalos HS Seniors receive $1000;Total over $800,000

District widens its investment in local graduates

The East Aldine Management District has expanded its already generous funding of college-level scholarships for graduating high school seniors in the area.

Two ceremonies in May showcased the District’s most recent investments in the future of East Aldine’s next generation of leaders and strivers.

The District, funded by a 1-cent sales tax, dispensed, pledged or shared in the funding of $800,000 in scholarships this year to support higher education opportunities for the students.

“Our financial support of continuing education for young people is an important way to contribute to the future of the entire community. Absolutely,” said Richard Cantú, District executive director.

He was one of several community leaders who spoke at the first ceremony, which was for all Aldine ISD graduates.

There, District funds — in combination with other donations to the Aldine Education Fund — provided 45 annual $15,000 endowed scholarships to students at Aldine ISD’s MacArthur High School. MacArthur and Rose Avalos P-Tech High School are the two Aldine ISD high schools located within the district’s 20 square miles.

At the ceremony at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center, the soon-to-be graduates were feted with balloons, mariachi music and words of encouragement from school district leaders and public officials.

Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney congratulated the scholarship winners and urged them to continue to strive.

“This is truly my favorite time of the year, a time when I get to see you, our soon-to-be-graduates, smiling and excited to be on the cusp of the next phase of your lives,” Goffney said. “I look forward to hearing about you when you become community leaders, movers and shakers, making a difference in our community. I am proud of you. I am inspired by you,” Goffney said.

Many of the scholarship recipients were neatly but casually dressed in jeans and senior class T-shirts as their proud family members applauded their accomplishments.

As a mariachi band played, the students took out cards and waved them at the leaders of the foundation and district. Each sign was emblazoned with the words: “Gracias!” and “Thank You.”

A week later, the 125 students who are expected to be the first graduates of Avalos P-Tech in 2023 gathered at the center to learn they would each receive $1,000 scholarships next year, through a new program sponsored by the East Aldine Management District.

The District has funded a $200,000 endowment, along with an additional $100,000 pledge, to sustain the scholarships for students at Avalos.

Cantú also serves on the board of the Aldine Education Foundation, which announced that 238 Aldine ISD graduating seniors each would receive an additional $1,000 to pursue their college degrees or technical certificates.

The foundation will also provide annual $1,000 college scholarships to all graduates of Avalos.

— By Anne Marie Kilday