Tuesday, May 16, I woke up to this view of the Manhattan skyline as captured from a 4th-story loft apartment in Brooklyn. I was there, the recipient of kindness from my son, Jason II and Carolanne, who welcomed my short visit.
My mind, though, today is on Tierra Starks, a senior at Sam Houston High School in San Antonio. Last evening, Tierra presided over her last function as National Honor Society Chapter president. The NHS inducted its newest members who pledged to uphold the tenets of NHS: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. Tierra has been a role model for those members who have witnessed her tenure as president this school year.
Her hard work and favor have earned her an acceptance letter to Pomona College. Her plan is to study Anthropology and Theater at this West Coast private, elite liberal arts college. When I look at the Manhattan skyline, I "see beyond." The picture shows a future Tierra possibly sharing her artistic talents from famous venues in the City.
Pomona College is making half of the Cost of Attendance available to Tierra. The other half is nearly $35,000. What gets me up in the morning is knowing that we live in a space where gaining access to this amount on behalf of an Emerging Leader is possible.
I use the seven $5,000-stacks as a visual representation of the opportunity. Tierra recognizes that a personal loan, the fruit of scholarship applications, and whatever the family contributes can eliminate three of the seven stacks. She has also appealed to Pomona to eliminate one or more stacks.
On June 6, there will be a gathering of Sam Houston Cherokees and others in the Sam Houston Circle of Influence. Our alumnus who walked in space, Aviation and Aeronautics Hall of Fame Astronaut Bernard Harris, is an invitee. Our alumna who is president of CPS Energy, Paula Gold- Williams may also be willing to come. Our retired West Point grad and retired Army Chaplain, Chaplain (Colonel) Edward K. Maney, US Army, Retired is likely to be in the room. By June 6, Kirsten Redmon will be our most recent graduate of the US Military Academy (Class of 2017). Her leave plans may permit Second Lieutenant Redmon to join us. Others associated with the Cherokees and Hurricanes will be present. The goal of the gathering is to make one or more $5,000 stacks disappear by the time dinner is over.
Throughout June and July, Sam Houston Students On The Rise Advisory Council members will fellowship at Spaghetti Warehouse on Spaghetti Wednesdays. Our purpose is to plan, coordinate and execute strategies for marketing Tier 1 Universities on San Antonio's East Side. Over the course of eight weekly fellowships, we also hope to see donations come in to help eliminate one of the $5,000 stacks.