Stand Tall Foundation holds Scholarship Awards Dinner
Chris Duhon's Stand Tall Foundation honored five St. Tammany Parish School Students at their scholarship award dinner Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at The Gallery.
The event was for those who were selected to receive a $5,000 scholarship to a four-year school of their choice.
Salmen's Alan Cox Jr. and Joseph Reynard, Fontainebleau's Carley Furlan, Northshore's Michelle McElroy and Mandeville's Bethanie Tinker were selected. The award is used for books, fees and tuition associated with full-time enrollment.
Duhon, a 2000 Salmen graduate and Orlando Magic guard with seven years of NBA experience, said his mother Vivian has done an amazing job with the Stand Tall Foundation.
"For us to be able to help kids get off to the next stage of their lives is gratifying to all of us. We're just very thankful and blessed we're able to do it. It also gives us an opportunity to meet different families and other great families," Duhon said.
To be eligible for the scholarship, the student must be a senior, have at least a 3.0 grade point average, be involved in community service and complete at least their junior and senior year in the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. One hundred seventy people applied.
Last year's scholarship winners Samford's Adam Beasley, LSU's Brittany Bruhl, Texas A&M's Brad Hewitt and SLU's Mary Zar presented this year's winners. Also from last year, LSU's Michael Braud was unable to attend due to a previous commitment.
Cox, the son of Alan and Judith Cox Sr., was presented by Zar. Cox finished with a 4.37 weighted grade point average and 3.91 un-weighted. He was the softball manager, while participating in cross-country and tennis. He was also a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Beta Club, DECA (business class), Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish Club, Yearbook Staff and was a counselor intern.
Cox will attend Southeastern Louisiana University and plans being a nursing major. He said he might switch to biology and attend medical school.
"I'm very excited. It's a really great opportunity for me. It will help with my financial burdens for school and focus more on school and less on working," Cox said.
Reynard, the son of Alton and Sheryl Reynard, was presented by Hewitt. Reynard tallied a 3.23 weighted GPA and 3.19 unweighted. He was involved with baseball, football, basketball along with National Honor Society and Freshman Kickoff Mentorship.
Reynard is going to Louisiana State University to major in architecture. Reynard said being selected is an honor. He said this would really help him in pursuing his degree. Reynard said he was excited when Duhon's mom called him about being chosen for the scholarship.
Reynard said he knows Vivian from Duhon's basketball camp. He said he attended it once and volunteered at it two-years later. "It was just a fun experience." Reynard said. "I had fun playing the sport that I love."
Furlan, the daughter of Charles and Susan Furlan, was presented by Beasley. Furlan posted a 4.3-weighted GPA and 3.9 unweighted.
Furlan was a member of the Speech and Debate Club, FHS Mixed Choir, School Government, Student Council, Bulldog Buddies, Swing Club and Talented Music and Talented Theater. Furlan was also a JROTC Cadet.
"A lot of people applied, so to get a scholarship of this magnitude is really exciting," Furlan said. "It opens opportunities for me in the future. It is the first step in paying for my education. I'm a biology pre-med major, so it's going to be expensive to go to medical school. The opportunity to get a scholarship of this size is significant."
Furlan will attend SLU. She said she is excited about college.
"I love the opportunity to meet new people and get to know my professors better so I can understand and learn from them on an easier level. I love the experience of starting somewhere new and I love the challenge of the future ahead," Furlan said.
McElroy, the daughter of Patrick and Kay McElroy, was presented by Bruhl. McElroy finished with a 4.4-weighted GPA and 4.0 unweighted. She was a member of the Student Council, Tiger Elite Cheerleader Competition, Fellowship for Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Track and Field, The Prowler School Newspaper, NHS Daily Announcements Team and a Louisiana Girls State Delegate. McElroy will attend LSU and major in Kinesiology with a Human Movement concentration (pre-physical therapy).
"I applied for a lot of scholarships and this was definitely a good one to get because it's going to be a big help financially for school. I'm going to end up having to pay for med school or physical therapy school as well, so every penny can help," McElroy said.
Tinker, the daughter of Harold and Michele Tinker, was presented by Duhon's brother Thomas Conley. Tinker had a 4.46 weighted GPA and 3.98 unweighted. Tinker was in the school choir, District Honor Choir, Encore Show Choir, All-State Honor Choir and National Honor Society.
"I'm very excited. I'm going to Philadelphia University in the fall, so this is a huge help, having this scholarship money and it's a huge honor," Tinker said. Tinker will study fashion design in the School of Engineering and Textiles at Philadelphia University.
"I've always enjoyed fashion and I've been thinking about what I want to do. I thought maybe writing, but I really enjoy drawing," Tinker said.
Before things concluded, the foundation was presented with a plaque from Project Graduation as a thank you for being a major sponsor.
This week, Duhon is holding his seventh annual basketball camp at Fritchie Park's Gym through Friday.
Duhon and his wife Andrea celebrate their first wedding anniversary Aug. 7. They have a 2-year old son, Jeremy.
By Chris Kinkaid
St. Tammany News