Urban students to be named national math, science scholars

Business Wire

WASHINGTON – Four graduating high school seniors have been selected by the Council of the Great City Schools to receive the 2017 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarship.

The Council of the Great City Schools is the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of urban public schools. Composed of 68 large city school districts, its mission is to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research and media relations. The organization also provides a network for school districts sharing common problems to exchange information, and to collectively address new challenges as they emerge to deliver the best possible education for urban youth.

The students were chosen from several hundred applicants in big-city school districts across the nation for academic performance, leadership qualities and community involvement.

Now in its eighth year, the scholarship was created by former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., the first African American to walk in space, and ExxonMobil to encourage and assist promising students of diverse backgrounds who plan to pursue science, technology, engineering and math studies after high school.

“ExxonMobil is helping to foster the next generation of STEM leaders,” said Ben Soraci, general manager of Public and Government Affairs for ExxonMobil. “These scholarships represent just one way we are encouraging students of diverse backgrounds to pursue STEM-related studies and careers.”

The awards are given annually to African American and Hispanic seniors from high schools in the 68 urban school districts represented by council.

“We are indeed proud of the winners in this highly competitive national scholarship program,” said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. “These young men and women may become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow thanks to the support of ExxonMobil and the encouragement of Dr. Harris.”

Each scholar will receive $5,000 for continued education in a STEM-related field. This year’s award winners are:

• Caleb Myers, graduate of Townview School of Science and Engineering in Dallas

• Diana Moreno, graduate of Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School in El Paso

• Paul Davis, graduate of Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Missouri

• Robin Ryce, graduate of Renaissance High School in Detroit, Michigan

In the fall, Myers plans to study chemical/biomedical engineering at Prairie View A&M University, Moreno will pursue a degree in biochemistry at University of Texas El Paso, Davis plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to study aerospace engineering and Ryce will study engineering at University of Michigan.

Administration of the scholarship program, including the application process, pre-selection and presentation of awards, is provided by the CGCS. Harris will make the final selection of recipients.

“I am consistently amazed and inspired by these students and their eagerness to succeed,” said Harris, also a physician and president and founder of The Harris Foundation. “Each of them will be such an asset to the universities they attend and as future innovators in our workforce. It’s an honor to help support them in their endeavors.”


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