Twenty-two high school seniors in McLennan County are being recognized for their volunteerism and service in the 42nd annual Youth Citizenship Awards sponsored by the Rotary Club of Waco and the Tribune-Herald.
The students will be honored at a Rotary Club luncheon Tuesday, April 6, at the Baylor Club. Each nominee was chosen by his or her high school. Students submitted a detailed application listing their school achievements and volunteer activities.
A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with their volunteer efforts is part of the application.
A committee uses the Rotary Club’s motto of “Service Above Self” in selecting five finalists. Those are interviewed in person by committee members. The winner receives a $4,000 scholarship while the four finalists receive scholarships worth $2,000 each.
Parents: Johnny and Nicole Tull
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Class president (all 4 years); Axtell 4-H and FFA; captain of Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry; volunteer at Grace Gospel Church; Little Dribblers; Royal Manor Nursing Home; bell ringer for Salvation Army.
Plans: Earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then master’s in neonatal nursing to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Parents: Jesus Saucedo, Carolina Santacruz
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: UIL district science champion, state runner-up; cross country district champion (2021); mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico; leader in church’s teen ministry; COVID shot clinic volunteer; nursing home volunteer, single moms’ kids ministry.
Plans: Pursue a degree in engineering and attend seminary school.
Parents: Ed and Ginger Tolbert
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: UIL academics; student council; football, basketball and baseball team captain; volunteer with Altrusa International of Temple with Camp Dreamcatcher, Kids Against Hunger and Feed My Sheep; athletic booster club; McLennan County Go Texan.
Plans: Major in business administration at Texas A&M with minors in communications and sports management. Pursue a career in sports media.
China Spring High
Parents: Marc and Amy Faulkner
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Cougars in Action vice president; All-State linebacker on state championship football team; baseball; Student Council; PALs; volunteer with Challenger League; China Spring Cares; Pack of Hope; China Spring Little League.
Plans: Attend Lamar University on football scholarship and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, then attend medical school to become a neurosurgeon.
Parents: Jose and Liliana Diosdado
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Upward Bound vice president of student needs; Cadet Academic Excellence Award; Sole Hope (shoes for children in Africa); blankets for nursing homes; Operation Christmas Child; Cameron Park cleanup; Shoeboxes for Kids.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College and Tarleton State University to earn elementary education degree. Plans to be bilingual educator in elementary school.
Parents: Christopher and Jennifer Warnick
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Beta Club; track; cross country; PALs; volunteer with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, helping to start Out of the Darkness Walk in Waco; Badass Texas Run Series (for suicide prevention); Tabernacle Experience.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College and then either the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor or Texas Tech to pursue nursing or teaching career.
Jerushalayim Guadarrama Perea
La Vega High
Parents: Jose and Kerena Guadarrama
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Marching band; UIL state award for flute quartet (2019, 2020, 2022); Student Council; volunteer with Special Olympics; tutor for high school peers; assist in cleaning and serving at Grace Gospel Campgrounds.
Plans: Attend University of Texas at Arlington to earn bachelor’s degree in Spanish and associate’s degree at MCC in American Sign Language. Wants to be certified as interpreter in sign language and Spanish.
Live Oak Classical
Parents: David Smith and Lorynn Divita
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: St. Catherine of Siena Service Award; baseball; Young Men’s Service League officer; National Honor Society; Salvation Army Community Kitchen; Meals on Wheels; Family Abuse Center; repair of playground for Boys and Girls Clubs.
Plans: Attend Elon University in North Carolina on presidential scholarship and major in history. Plans to return to Texas and teach high school history and coach.
Parents: John and Belinda Strauch
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Class president; National Honor Society president; drumline; Student Council; soccer captain; PALs; Waco Teen Leadership Class of 2020; Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry in Lorena; St. Paul Lutheran Church; Project Graduation.
Plans: Attend U.S. Military Academy and major in life sciences. Plans to serve in Army and later pursue career in medicine.
Parent: Sherrie Galloway
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Class president; National Honor Society president; volleyball; track and field; peewee cheer coach; tutoring elementary students; vacation Bible school volunteer.
Plans: Attend the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and work toward becoming an accountant.
Parents: Kyle and Jill Paschall
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Interact Club president; National Honor Society; athletics manager; PALs; band; UIL academics; Pack of Hope; food pantry volunteer; Operation Christmas Child; McGregor Rotary Pancake Supper.
Plans: Attend the University of Arkansas and major in human development and family studies. Wants to pursue career as a child life specialist.
Parents: Darrell and Cindy Janecka
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Spanish Club co-president; Chamber Singers and Meistersingers; Spirit of Midway Award; PTA Reflections state participant; Kohls Cares Scholarship; Prudential Spirit of Community Award; mission trips; Congressional Award gold medalist.
Plans: Attend the University of Texas at Austin to pursue bachelor’s and master’s in social work. Considering law school and wants to travel abroad to work with underprivileged Spanish speakers.
Parents: Justin and Page Foster
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: FFA; National Honor Society; tennis; golf; Christmas food and toy drive; Humane Society food and blanket drive; Salvation Army coat and blanket drive with Willow Grove Baptist Church.
Plans: Attend Texas State Technical College for associate’s degree in aircraft pilot training, then attend Texas A&M-Central Texas for bachelor’s in aviation. Wants to become a commercial pilot.
Parents: Gabriel and Maribel Maldonado
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Attends church and Bible study; sings in choir with youth; helps cook food that is sold to help the church.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College to pursue a nursing degree. Wants to work in a hospital.
Rapoport Academy Meyer High
Parents: Trayne and Malia White
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Boy Scouts; Triple Win program; prom committee; cross country; track and field; Hurricane Harvey cleanup in Houston; graveyard cleanup; World Hunger Relief; helping elderly; Eagle Scout service projects.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College for associate’s degree and then Texas A&M to study aerospace engineering. Seeks career with NASA, Tesla or SpaceX.
Parents: Leoncio and Mariaelena Moreno
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: PALs member; National Honor Society; Student Council; student athletic trainer; T-ball coach; Trunk or Treat volunteer; Riesel ISD blood drive; Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Plans: Earn a bachelor’s degree in biology, then enroll in a graduate program to become a physician’s assistant.
Abby Lynn Trojanowski
Parents: Eric and Melanie Trojanowski
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Student Council; Rocket Athletic Leadership Council president; cross country; track; soccer; swim; began PJs for PJ with mother, which distributes pajamas to children’s hospitals; Waco Challenger League; American Valor Foundation.
Plans: Attend Texas A&M-Galveston to earn marine veterinary degree. Wants to be a veterinarian in a marine rescue and release clinic.
Parents: Darrell and Brenda Sauls
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Mentor Waco; youth group vice president at Second Missionary Baptist Church; football; reads to students at South Waco and Kendrick elementaries; outreach to homeless; Mr. Juneteenth of Waco.
Plans: Attend Tarleton State University and major in education with a minor in sports management. Wants to become an athletic director.
Valley Mills High
Parents: John and Melisa McDonald
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Student Council; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; PALs; Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo Sweetheart; Help the Homeless; Veterans Day program at high school; Breakfast with Santa; Wallace Burns Girls Citizenship Award.
Plans: Attend Texas A&M to earn bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Intends to earn pharmacy degree from A&M-Kingsville and become a pharmacist.
Vanguard College Preparatory
Parents: William Dietz Jr. and Elizabeth Dietz
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Eagle Scout; National Merit Commended Scholar; class president; Mu Alpha Theta; Teen Leadership Waco; cross country; soccer; One-Act Play state All-Star Cast; acolyte at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; George Eastman Young Leaders Award.
Plans: Attend Southern Methodist University as a Provost Scholar and major in business.
Parents: Aaron and Andrea Zimmerman
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: National Merit Commended Scholar; Student Council; tennis; Academic Achiever; outreach and mission trips with St. Alban’s Episcopal Church; winter storm Uri relief volunteer; city of Waco Youth Council; Food for Families.
Plans: Choosing between Wellesley College, Brandeis University or Rice University to study history or politics and work in some aspect of politics.
Kylee Schroeder Howard
Parents: Butch and Terri Fuessel
Activities, honors and volunteer highlights: Miss West 2021; Heart O’ Texas Sweetheart; Heart O’ Texas Junior Committee; St. Mary’s youth group leader; FFA; powerlifting; cross country; Junior Historians; Technology Student Association; Challenger League; Trick-or-Treat food drive.
Plans: Attend Texas A&M and major in architectural engineering. Upon graduation, hopes to work for a construction business on residential homes.
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