SHREVEPORT, LA--Jessica Walker, a straight-A student at Plain Dealing Academy with a strong record of community service, is the new On Your Side Scholarship recipient at Centenary College. The announcement was made yesterday (March 18) by the sponsors of the award, KTBS-TV Channel 3 and Bank One, and Centenary President Kenneth Schwab.
The scholarship, valued at $17,885, covers fees, room and board, and tuition for the 1999-2000 year at Centenary. It recognizes students who have made a difference in their schools and communities.
Ms. Walker was one of 350 students from the U.S. to attend the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., and was the only student representing North Louisiana. The Congressional Youth Leadership Council recognized her for meritorious achievement in scholarship, leadership and citizenship.
At her school, she was chosen ambassador to the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation and elected by the faculty to the PDA Hall of Fame. She is also active in several outreach projects through her church and is a DARE role model. She received the Honesty and Integrity Award from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, the highest such award given by the Masons.
Ms. Walker plans to pursue a career in a medical field and to major in one of the sciences at Centenary, where she is looking forward to "wonderful research opportunities ... The possibility of working with the medical school and having works published is extremely exciting." She also loves to write and enjoys live theater, two interests she will also pursue at the college.
"Centenary is unique in that it not only prepares you for whatever career you choose, but also for the world in which you live," she said. "Centenary requires that its students participate in programs that help develop personal growth and it encourages community involvement."
Ms. Walker is the daughter of Tony and Jnell Walker and the sister of second-grader Colton Walker, all of Plain Dealing.
Dr. Schwab announced the award during the 11:30 a.m. KTBS newscast. Anchor Gwen Campbell interviewed Ms. Walker and her parents, as well as Rick Johnson of Bank One and News Director Jan Elkins of KTBS-TV. Ms. Walker was also featured during a special report on the station's 5 p.m. newscast yesterday.
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