Breakfast with the Stars awards over $450,000 in scholarships

Irving ISD’s best and brightest high school seniors were celebrated at the 30th Annual Breakfast with the Stars presented at the Irving Convention Center on Tuesday, April 25.

Hosted by Nissan and the Irving Schools Foundation, this was one of the event’s biggest years ever with over 800 attendees and 150 scholarships awarded to seniors headed to college. The 150 scholarships totaled over $300,000, however the recipients were very surprised to learn that, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of Breakfast with the Stars, they would all receive an extra $1000 on top of the scholarships they were already receiving, bringing the total amount over $450,000.

Purwa Baseer of MacArthur High School, the recipient of the Nissan North America Scholarship, spoke to the crowd on behalf of the recipients and expressed how much the scholarship meant to her.

“I truly believe this scholarship represents more than just myself,” Baseer said. “When a local business gives a student financial support for college, it is an investment in the future of our community. It means the world to have this opportunity, because this contribution impacts the sustainability of my family and future educational plans.”

Baseer wants to continue the work of her benefactors and someday offer her own scholarships to other students.

“One day I hope to be in the same shoes of our great community leaders who are in this room. With the ability to financially support a promising young student, I would be completing a full circle of success,” Baseer said.

Sofia Rodriguez from Nimitz High School received the Nicholas’ Scholarship, an award for students planning to pursue degrees in journalism or the arts.

“It’s a big opportunity to be able to pursue what I love and enjoy and also what I want to do in life,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez plans to get her journalism degree at University of Texas in Austin.

Hope Cachay of Singley Academy received the Carol Wood Culinary Arts and Small Business Scholarship. She plans to attend Johnson and Wales University in the Applied Nutrition and Dietetics program.

“My financial burden will be lowered, which is a great burden that will be taken off my shoulders,” Cachay said. “That’s what really motivated me to get this scholarship.”

Katherine Maberry of Nimitz High School received the Judy Hammond Memorial Athletic Scholarship. She has not decided on a school yet, but plans to pursue a meteorology degree with a minor in environmental science.

“Getting this scholarship means so much to me, because it gives me motivation to pursue my career in meteorology and gives me the means to get there,” Maberry said.

Eileen Romero of Singley Academy received one of four Irving Las Colinas Rotary Scholarships. She plans to attend Abilene Christian University and pursue a degree in biology.

“I’m a part of the Rotary Club at my school, and because of my extra-curricular activities, I got the scholarship,” Romero said. “[Getting this scholarship] means that it’ll be a little less that I have to pay for when I go to school, and it means that my hard work paid off.”

The program featured keynote speakers Edward Lopez and Dr. Douglas Won, both successful former students of Irving ISD.

“I didn’t even know that such a thing as Irving Schools Foundation Scholarships existed when I was in high school,” Won said. “Just like I had more opportunity than my father, you already have more opportunity than I had when I was in high school.

“Stay focused, stay hungry, follow your passion. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed. If they say you’re not worthy, push them aside and prove them wrong.”

About the Author

Ariel Graham
Ariel Graham is a freelance reporter and blogger. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Media & Communication in December of 2011. Prior to moving to Dallas, she worked for AM 790 KFYO in Lubbock, Texas, as a commercial voiceover actress, board operator, and producer for “Lubbock’s First News” & “The Chad Hasty Show.” She also wrote a weekly technology blog “The Geek Girl Report,” as well as various news stories and podcasts for the station. She is currently working on her new blog “Super Geek Girl Report,” and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, video editing, and playing video games.