High achievers: Green Forest seniors honored at banquet
Green Forest High School senior Rebeca Castillo is solely responsible for funding her college education. Judging from her honors at the school's senior recognition banquet Tuesday night, she's doing a pretty good job.
Castillo, who plans to study English and international relations at Hendrix College in Conway, said her education will be completely free.
"It means a lot to me because my family is very low-income. I worked really hard in high school for this, and I feel like everything's finally paying off," she said.
Castillo will be a high honor graduate with more than $202,680 in scholarship offers. Those offers include $133,980 from Hendrix College, $500 from Tyson Foods and $500 from the Lions Club, as well as a $7,000 Horatio Alger Scholarship and a $24,000 Hagan Scholarship.
Trista Killingsworth, a Green Forest counselor, presented the Horatio Alger Scholarship, saying it is awarded to students who have faced adversity. She noted that Castillo was one of seven Arkansas graduates recognized.
The Hagan Scholarshp, Killingsworth explained, is given to high-achieving and motivated students aspiring to obtain a college education. A regional scholarship, it was awarded to five Green Forest students this year.
"Arkansas is one of the 10 states in the scholarship region. These five students went through the tedious scholarship process, and we're all proud of them," she said.
The other four Hagan Scholars are Harleigh Andrews, Emily Glassell, Kaylee Ricketts and Felix Yanez.
Like Castillo, Glassell is a high honor graduate. Glassell's honors include being valedictorian, an all-state selection in volleyball, the Loss of Life essay winner and the recipient of several scholarships.
Glassell hopes to study biology and pre-med at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. She received a $26,000 scholarship from UCA, the $500 Jerry James Memorial Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship from Mercy Auxiliary and the Hagan Scholarship.
Glassell said she's grateful to the community for offering so much help to Green Forest graduates.
"It means a lot to me. The community is so awesome to give me all these scholarships for my education," she said.
She added that she hopes to give back to the community in the same way once she succeeds in her career.
Fellow high honor graduate Thelma Ponce has received outstanding awards for various classes and college credit for the advanced placement U.S. history exam, as well as three scholarships.
Ponce, who plans to attend Missouri State University in Springfield, will graduate with a $500 scholarship from Green Forest High School, the $500 Fred and Marjorie Norris Memorial Scholarship and the $1,000 John Keener Fancher Memorial Scholarship.
Castillo, Glassell and Ponce were the only high honor graduates, with 26 other students recognized as honor graduates. A high honor graduate, Principal Terry Darnell noted at the banquet, must obtain a 4.0 or higher grade-point average (GPA) and complete eight pre-advanced placement and six advanced placement courses.
Honor graduate Tehya Newberry, who was on the honor all four years in high school, plans to study pre-med at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Newberry, who received the $300 William Lamb Memorial Scholarship, said she found the scholarship application process quite stressful.
"It was hard to do all those scholarships. It feels good to be accomplished at something and to have something to look forward to in my future years," she said.
Fellow honor graduate Harleigh Andrews will be leaving Green Forest with a 4.0 GPA and a $12,000 scholarship to UCA, a $1,000 scholarship from the Mercy Auxiliary and the Hagan Scholarship. Andrews plans to attend UCA and major in nursing.
Honor graduate Kaelea Breedlove, who was on honor roll all four years, plans to study graphic design at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. Breedlove received the $300 Renaissance Scholarship and a scholarship from College of the Ozarks.
Honor graduate Jacob Biggs will graduate with nine college credit hours. Biggs plans to study mathematics and youth ministry at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. He received a $36,000 scholarship from the university, a $500 scholarship from Tyson Foods, a $500 scholarship from Lions Club and the $300 Renaissance Scholarship.
Honor student Jackson Reece Carlton received the Presidential Gold Scholarship from North Arkansas College in Harrison -- a scholarship valued at $6,540. Carlton, who plans to study engineering at NAC, also received a $2,000 scholarship from Shelter Insurance and the $500 Modus Studio Scholarship.
A star farmer in FFA, honor student Sara Clark plans to study nursing at NAC. Clark received the $4,000 Presidential Silver Scholarship from the college.
Honor student Jorge Diaz, who attended Boys State, also received the Presidential Silver Scholarship from North Arkansas College. Diaz, who plans to study pre-engineering at NAC, also received a $500 scholarship from Tyson Foods.
Honor graduate Hailey Hill, who completed 12 hours of concurrent classes, plans to major in poultry science at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Hill received a scholarship from the university.
Honor graduate Ehlaina Hudson had many options, being accepted into every college she applied to. Hudson will attend Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Mo., where she plans to study engineering. She received the $7,000 Presidential Scholarship from Missouri Southern State University and a $1,000 scholarship from the Carroll County Board of Realtors.
Honor graduate Sophia Huskey plans to study history and biology education at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. Huskey received a $5,000 scholarship from the university.
Honor graduate Andrew Sutton plans to study biomedical engineering at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He received a scholarship from the university and the $500 Modus Studio Scholarship.
Kenley Williams, who is among the top graduates in the class, plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to study broadcast journalism. She received a $500 scholarship from the Carroll County Cattlemen's Association.
Honor graduate Felix Yanez was a 2014 Boys State delegate and president of Future Business Leaders of America and student council. Yanez, who plans to study biology at the University of Central Oklahoma, in Edmond, Okla., received a $1,000 scholarship from Mercy Auxiliary, a $300 scholarship from the Green Forest Chamber of Commerce and the Hagan Scholarship.
Honor graduate Kaylee Ricketts, president of the senior class, will study broadcast journalism at Southwest Baptist University. Ricketts received a $47,000 scholarship from the university and the Hagan Scholarship.
Honor graduate Drew Roberts, who completed graduation requirements in three years and earned 15 college credits his senior year, plans to study computer science at College of the Ozarks. Roberts received a scholarship from the university and a $500 scholarship from Carroll Electric.
Also completing graduation requirements early, honor graduate Garrett Roberts plans to study criminal justice and psychology at College of the Ozarks, receiving a scholarship from the university.
Honor graduate Frank Caleb Marr plans to study history education and coaching at North Arkansas College, where he received a $4,000 scholarship. Marr also received a $500 scholarship from Ozark Cafe.
Honor graduate Magali Rivera, who plans to study radiology at North Arkansas College, received a $300 scholarship from the Green Forest Chamber of Commerce.
Honor graduate Payton Watson, who earned all-state honors in volleyball her junior and senior years, plans to study mathematics at Crowley's Ridge College in Paragould. Watson received a $9,300 scholarship for academics and athletics from the college.
Honor graduate Gavin Nelson, who maintained a 3.9 GPA, plans to major in accounting at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, where he received a $36,000 scholarship.
Honor graduate Olivia Larimer was on honor roll all four years at Green Forest and plans to study sports medicine at Arkansas Tech University.
Honor student Juan Ochoa plans to study marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Arkansas.
Honor student Madison Owen plans to major in athletic training at UCA and further her education in physical therapy.
Fellow honor student Brandy Ramos, who is undecided on college plans, will graduate with a 3.8 GPA and outstanding awards for various classes.
Participating in drama productions all four years of high school, honor student Micah Sooter plans to study criminal justice at North Arkansas College and emergency planning management at Arkansas Tech University.
Honor graduate Bailey Taylor will be attending North Arkansas College to study nursing.
Other students receiving scholarships include: Brandon Hogan, who received a scholarship from College of the Ozarks; Tiffany Butler, who received a $6,540 scholarship from North Arkansas College and the $500 Rue Griffith Memorial Scholarship; Adrianna Prentice, who received a $47,200 scholarship from Lyon College in Batesville; and Diego Camacho and Mercedes Hardesty, who each received $500 scholarships from Tyson Foods.