WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A big night for so many students in the Wichita Falls Independent School District.
One by one, students found out the great news that they’d been selected to receive one of the 88 scholarships awarded Tuesday night.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be able to award all these students these scholarships. It’s very deserving. It’s such a rewarding process and we couldn’t be more proud,” Partners In Education Coordinator January Cadotte said.
Cadotte said many of these scholarships are set up in memory of someone, whose memory or work can now live on through recipients.
A message promoted through the Shatanay Clarke Larger Than Life Scholarship, one that’s close to so many.
“It’s bittersweet very much. I had gotten to know Shatanya through Read to Learn and through working through the media, and so it was very sad to see her go but what a wonderful way to honor her and remember her,” Cadotte said.
Shatanya lost her battle to brain cancer a little more than a year ago, but her legacy still lives on.
Shatanay’s mom, Tasha, in attendance for the reception, said this is just one of the ways to keep Shatanya’s name alive.
“I know my daughter is smiling now. She’s very happy and I’m proud, I’m honored to be here and to also have chose the winner. And, I know Shatanya agrees with me on the person that I chose,” Shatanya’s mom Tasha Witter said.
Shatanya’s mom chose senior Keturah Furnace, who said she is just honored to be the first recipient of this scholarship.
“It feels great because I didn’t think I’d get a scholarship. It’ll take some weight off my shoulders and some stress off my parents,” Furnace said.
Furnace’s big goal of becoming a nurse is one that reminded Shatanya’s mom of her daughter when she was that age.
“That student has goals, dreams, and I could hear Shatanay’s voice saying Keturah is the one,” Witter said.
The one indeed, and all of these students said they will work hard to make their community proud.
“I want to help students to further their education, reach for the stars and dream big because the sky is the limit,” Witter said.
Preparing the youth of today, for their tomorrow. All while keeping the memory of some very special people, like Shatanya, alive.
Scholarship applications for next year will open in January 2024.