Ten Hopkins County high school students will get life-changing awards Tuesday evening when they are announced as the recipients of the inaugural John and Deborah Gillis Foundation Bright Stars scholarships.
Almost a third of a million dollars will be pledged to the Bright Stars recipients to fund their college educations. Each of the 10 students will receive $4,000 per semester, renewable for up to eight semesters, to pay for college.
Bright Stars is the largest single scholarship program in the county.
The recipients and their families will be recognized at a reception from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Sulphur Springs Country Club. Media is invited to attend.
The Bright Stars scholarships are open each year to all graduating seniors from the seven school districts in Hopkins County: Como-Pickton, Cumby, Miller Grove, North Hopkins, Saltillo, Sulphur Bluff and Sulphur Springs.
The scholarship program is the second platform of the Gillis Foundation’s commitment to local education.
In February, the foundation awarded three county school districts (Como-Pickton, Sulphur Bluff and Cumby) a total of $100,000 for innovative programs in their schools. The purposes of the grants are to support schools are they prepare students who graduate from high school to be college and career ready whatever their life goals may be.
The foundation will consistently work closely with Hopkins County school districts to ensure a strong alignment between their own educational goals and the foundation’s mission and goals of college and career readiness. The grant funding’s intentions are ultimately to increase Hopkins County graduates’ chances of competing in a global society for college entrances of their choice and competitive career opportunities.
ABOUT THE GILLIS FOUNDATION
The foundation was developed and financially supported by the Sulphur Springs couple and is managed by former teacher, counselor and educational consultant Robin Shrode. All three are Sulphur Springs High School graduates.
John Gillis, who is Chairman/CEO of Gillis Holdings, Inc., is a fifth-generation Hopkins County native. The couple, who married in 1985, have one son and one granddaughter. John and Debbie are both graduates of East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce).
Information regarding the process of applying for the Grants to Schools and Bright Star Scholarship programs are on the foundation’s website: www.jdgillisfoundation.org