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The Texas Exes Paris Chapter recently awarded scholarships to four local high school students who have chosen to attend the University of Texas following high school graduation. Local UT alumni, the scholarship recipients and their families attended the ceremony, held at Heritage Hall.
Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, breadth of extracurricular activities, work experience, financial need, and interest level in attending UT. The local chapter generates scholarship funds from its endowment, the annual Texas / Texas A&M fall golf tournament, and the annual banquet and auction. This year, each student will receive $1,800 as they begin their UT experience.
All of this year’s recipients are in the top ten percent of their graduating class and include Hannah Drake, Anahita Pardiwalla, Marco Polo and Will Whitaker.
Hannah Drake, senior at North Lamar HS, has been a cheerleader for four years, and has been active in debate, theater, Beta Club, National Honor Society and literary criticism. She has volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Rotary Youth. Hannah has worked at Texas Tumbling since 2011 and has taught tumbling for elementary age children. She plans to major in Education and be an Elementary Education teacher. Hannah is the daughter of David and Jill Drake.
Anahita Pardiwalla is graduating sixth from the Paris HS class of 2013 and plays bassoon with the PHS symphonic band and flute with the Blue Blazes Marching Band. She has been active in Key Club, National Honor Society, Future Problem Solvers and theater. Anahita has participated in Paris Community Theater and has written articles for The Paris News. In the summers, she has volunteered at a local assisted living center helping with crafts and activities. She will major in journalism. Her parents are Kushroo and Hutokshi Pardiwalla.
Marco Polo, senior at Chism HS, speaks four languages and has been active as his class president, Beta Club president, Key Club and theater. Marco plays tennis and soccer and has coached a girls’ soccer team. He plays the violin and has performed with several Paris area string and orchestra groups. He works on his family’s ranch and as a veterinarian’s assistant. He has been accepted to the UT Liberal Arts Honors Program and plans to focus on International Studies and economics. Marco is the son of Marco and Chantel Polo.
Will Whitaker is the Valedictorian at Paris High School and was a member of the International Award Winning Drum Line. He plays soccer, has been a member of the Cat Gut spirit organization, National Honor Society and Future Problem Solvers. He has participated in church activities and numerous community service projects. He plans to major in nursing and is the Dr. Cedric Townsend Scholarship recipient. Will is the son of Chris and Amanda Whitaker.