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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

AAUW gives college scholarships to girls pursuing dreams

 

Last updated 6/20/2023 at 7:22pm

The Orange Chapter of the American Association of University Women honored two high school scholarship winners during a special luncheon. Jessica Johnson of LC-M in the pink dress was one of the recipients and she is standing between her parents. AAUW President Linda White is on the far left. Other AAUW members to the right of Mr. Johnson are Joan Tharp and Carolyn Hillsten.

The Orange Chapter of American University Women last week awarded two graduating high school girls with scholarships to help them pursue their career dreams through higher education.

Both have chosen fields in which they can help others and were inspired seeing others dedicated to serving people.

Asia Stewart of West Orange-Stark and Jessica Johnson of Little Cypress-Mauriceville were honored during a special AAUW luncheon at the Garden District. Unfortunately, Stewart had to cancel her appearance earlier in the day because of a family medical emergency.

Stewart will be attending Houston Christian University to major in nursing to become a registered nurse. Her great-grandmother and grandmother were nurses and inspired her to seek their career.

While at WO-S, she was a member of the Fillies dance team and served as first lieutenant and social officer of the group. She also participated in UIL events and the Book Club, plus she volunteered at her church to help shut-ins and the sick.

During high school, she was in honors classes for English, math, history, and science, along with attending classes at LSCO. She graduated from WOS with 43 hours of college credits, and has been certified in CNA and phlebotomy.

Jessica Johnson of LC-M is following her childhood dream of owning and operating a ranch to offer horse therapy. She was inspired to that dream after serving as a volunteer at the Orange County Special Angel Rodeo while in the seventh grade.

The rodeo is an annual event established by the family of Lu Harris to give special needs children and adults a rodeo experience. Johnson said she was first paired with a young man described as nonverbal. However, he loved riding on a horse and laughed a lot.

"I will never forget the way his eyes glowed and the way he laughed when he was even around the horse. Later that evening when I got home, I told my family what I wanted to do in life," she said.

While at LC-M, she entered the special veterinary program and volunteered as at a local veterinary clinic, where she picked up the love of helping sick and injured animals. She earned a school certificate in animal science and another certificate as a veterinary tech assistant.

She plans to attend McNeese University to study animal science and psychology with intentions to eventually earn a doctorate to become a veterinarian. Then she will continue to pursue the dream of owning a horse therapy ranch.

The American Association of University Women is one of the oldest women's groups in the U.S. The Orange chapter will be turning 75 next year and has given dozens of scholarships to help local women get higher educations. In recent years, the group has raised the scholarship money through its annual used book sale held at Orange's Art in the Park.

 

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