Forty Acres Scholars Program Class of 2025 Announced
Posted May 5, 2021
The Texas Exes is pleased to announce the Forty Acres Scholars Program Class of 2025. More than 4,700 students applied for the elite scholarship program, which inspires and nurtures visionary leaders and helps them use their talents to benefit society. On March 4-6, 65 impressive finalists joined our Forty Acres Scholars Program staff and current scholars online for a virtual weekend of informative panels, videos, breakout activities, visits with their admitted colleges, a mock class with a UT professor, a virtual campus tour, and more—all concluding with an individual interview.
Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to our 17 new and exceptional Forty Acres Scholars. Among the incoming class are three founders and CEOs of nonprofits, three founders of school clubs, two STEM leaders, and two researchers. Also in the mix are a high school valedictorian, a high school salutatorian, an Eagle Scout, and three Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipients. Many more are decorated varsity athletes, sports captains, club presidents, accomplished musicians, and AP Scholars with Distinction. Several have written nationally broadcasted news stories, illustrated published books, self-produced films screened at the USA Film Festival, and written editorials for local news outlets.
These Scholars will receive full funding for their tuition, a living stipend, a book stipend, and opportunities for enrichment activities including a community component, a global experience, and professional experiences. As the only program of its kind administered by an alumni association, the Forty Acres Scholars Program helps Scholars develop a unique connection with their alma mater—and with each other. Over their four years on campus, Scholar cohorts form a tight bond with each other, and serve as a powerful network and resource to each other during their time on campus and beyond.
Meet the Class of 2025:
Brydn Abraham from Frisco, Texas, is the recipient of the Catherine G. and Sam L. Susser Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Centennial High School, Abraham served twice as Student Council class president and then student body president, as well as the president of his high school’s Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club. He was a National Gold Medalist in FCCLA Star Events (placing second nationally), an AP Scholar, and received the Faculty Award in four classes. Abraham plans to major in business honors and Plan II Honors through the Canfield Business Honors Program and Plan II Honors Program, as well as pursue a certificate in core texts and ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. He is the son of Betsy and Bejoy Abraham.
Frances Cates from Memphis, Tennessee, is the recipient of the Eugene McDermott Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Hutchison School, Cates was president of Peer Council and a four-year member of the varsity soccer, cross country, and track teams, serving as captain senior year. Cates was a member of the Hutchison Certificate of Science program and will graduate with a specialization in the sciences. She was recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction and Hutchison’s Tri-Athlete of the Year. Cates plans to major in Plan II Honors through the Plan II Honors Program. She is the daughter of Allison and Andy Cates.
Jeremiah Do from Garland, Texas, is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Beverly and Will O'Hara. While attending Garland High School, Do led a team of STEM students in designing a lunar mobile habitat as a NASA High School Aerospace Scholars Systems Engineer, and served as president of the French National Honor Society. He was also a coach and varsity captain for the tennis team. Do was an AP Scholar with Distinction and 2021 National Honor Society Semifinalist Scholarship Recipient, and had multiple self-produced films chosen to be screened at the USA Film Festival. He plans to major in aerospace engineering through the Engineering Honors Program and explore the Engineering Management Program, as well as pursue a minor in entrepreneurship. Do is the son of Khanh Khuc and Andy Do.
Faith Fulbright from Odessa, Texas, is the recipient of the Fred A. Gottesman Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Permian High School, Fulbright served as the captain of the Academic Decathlon team, president of the Business Professionals of America club, and vice president of the Permian Choir Council. Her accomplishments include graduating as valedictorian of her high school, being a National Merit Commended Scholar, an AP Scholar with Honors, and a member of the Permian Academic Hall of Fame. Fulbright plans to double major in business honors and Plan II Honors through the Canfield Business Honors Program and Plan II Honors Program. She is the daughter of Tatum and Brad Fulbright.
Leila Garza from Houston, Texas, is the recipient of the AIM Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Milby High School, Garza served as the president of her school’s National Honor Society, captain of the softball team, and president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Her accomplishments include graduating in the top five percent of her class, being a regional qualifier for wrestling, and receiving the Outstanding Woman on Campus Award. She plans to major in nursing and add an environmental science major. She is the daughter of Brenda Martinez.
Nina Hamuy from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the recipient of the Karen and Charles Matthews, Jr. Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Pine Crest School, Hamuy was a four-year varsity rower. She also served as the Florida DECA vice president, presiding over 10,000 members, and is the founder and CEO of a nonprofit organization called Sun Safe Students. Her awards include receiving a Student EMMY for broadcast journalism and producing stories that have aired nationally on PBS, as well as being an AP Scholar with Distinction. Hamuy plans to major in business honors through the Canfield Business Honors Program and add a finance or marketing major. She is the daughter of Jamie and Neil Hamuy.
Holly Hull from Shiner, Texas, is the recipient of the Friends of Darrell K Royal Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending St. Paul High School, Hull was president of Club Med, Student Council student ambassador, and an MD Anderson Teen Volunteer. Her honors include being a RYLA Gold Shirt Recipient, MD Anderson Teen Volunteer Leader, and head student athletic trainer. Hull plans to major in exercise science. She is the daughter of Kerri and Chris Hull.
Eleanor Hutcheson from Austin, Texas, is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Leslie and John David Moritz. While attending Westlake High School, Hutcheson was captain of the lacrosse varsity team and will be playing on the Texas Women’s Lacrosse Team at UT. She is also the founder and president of Sharing Spoon, Inc., a nonprofit organization addressing food insecurity in the Austin community, and president of the National Charity League Austin Chapter. Her awards include the Congressional Award Gold Medal, Academic Achievement Award in AP Environmental Science, and All State and All District Conference Awards for Lacrosse Division 1. A fifth-generation Longhorn, Hutcheson will be joining the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Liberal Arts Honors program. She is the daughter of Courtney and Curtis Hutcheson.
Esther Jin from League City, Texas, is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by the Cockrell School of Engineering and the Chevron Enrichment Award. While attending Clear Springs High School, Jin served as the team captain and mechanical lead of the FIRST Robotics Competition Team. She was also president and principal violist of the varsity orchestra for all four years of high school, and a volunteer coach with an elementary school robotics club. Her awards include being a two-time Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipient, a National AP Scholar, and being an invited speaker at the 2020 BRAIN Center Symposium on Neural Engineering. Jin plans to major in mechanical engineering through the Engineering Honors Program and pursue a certificate in humanitarian engineering. She is the daughter of Qin Wang and Jun Jin.
Leah Kegerreis from Addison, Texas, is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Nancy and Mark Reichek. While attending Trinity Christian Academy, Kegerreis was a member of her school’s varsity golf team and a senior editor of her school’s student magazine. She was also a member of the Nasher Sculpture Center Student Advisory Board in Dallas. Her honors include being the first youth Artist-in-Residence at Rocky Mountain National Park, receiving the Juror’s Choice Award at the 2020 Texas Visual Arts Association competition, and being selected for a national juried exhibition with the National Art Honor Society. Kegerreis has illustrated three published books. She will be participating in the Liberal Arts Honors Program and plans to major in environmental science. She is the daughter of Kristy and Mike Kegerreis.
Niels Levy-Thiebaut from Houston, Texas, is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Carolyn Holmes. While attending Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Levy-Thiebaut founded the Fitness and Wellness Club, where he started mindfulness meditation sessions for staff, parents, and students in association with the Institute for Spirituality and Health. He also served as co-president of the Book Buddies Club, where he pioneered virtual story times for under-served elementary school students during COVID, and president of the French Club. Levy-Thiebaut's awards include being a National Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award. He plans to double major in nutrition and Plan II Honors through the Polymathic Scholars and Plan II Honors Programs, and later add biomedical engineering as a major and philosophy as a minor. He is the son of Aimée and Alexandre Levy-Thiebaut.
Lisa Morin from San Benito, Texas, is the recipient of the George Kozmetsky Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending IDEA San Benito College Preparatory, Morin served as president of Student Government, parliamentarian of the National Honor Society, and notebook chair for the STEM Robotics club. Her honors include being a National Hispanic Scholar, an AP Scholar, and a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. A first-generation college student, Morin plans to major in business honors through the Canfield Business Honors Program and pursue a pre-law educational track. She is the daughter of Maria and Jorge Morin.
Joseph Newcomer from Dallas, Texas, is the recipient of the Texas Exes Dallas Chapter Forty Acres Scholarship. Newcomer, who attended the School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center, was a founder of the MEL Keystone Program, a nonprofit organization that helps elementary and middle school kids learn skills in math, English, and logic. He also participated in research involving Multiple Sclerosis at UT Southwestern, where he made contributions to three pending research papers. Among Newcomer’s recognitions are being a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction. He plans to double major in mathematics and computer science. He is the son of Kelley and Mark Newcomer.
Chardelene Reyes from Cypress, Texas, is the recipient of the Mike A. Myers Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Cypress Springs High School, Reyes was president of Health Occupational Students of America (HOSA), the Science National Honor Society, and Mental Health Alliance. She advocates for mental health as a student ambassador for Neolth, a digital platform and application focused on de-escalating stress for students. Reyes’ honors include being an AP Scholar, a state medalist at the Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), and being recognized by the Learn to Be organization as a tutor in various subjects. She plans to major in nursing and minor in social and behavioral sciences. She is the daughter of Darlene and Richard Reyes.
Diego Robbins from San Antonio, Texas, is the recipient of the Ray and Denise Nixon Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending the Legacy of Educational Excellence High School, Robbins was a varsity tennis captain and four-year letterman, a youth ambassador for San Antonio's Sister Cities International, and a volunteer tennis coach at the Rackets Up for Down Syndrome charitable organization. His awards include being a National Hispanic Scholar, an AP Scholar with Honor, and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Robbins also created and executed a diaper donation drive for the Texas Diaper Bank that led to an invitation for him to write an editorial for the San Antonio Report. He plans to double major in international business and business honors through the Canfield Business Honors Program. He is the son of Andrea and Rickard Robbins.
Mia Li Rodriguez from Los Fresnos, Texas, is the recipient of the Stan L. McLelland Forty Acres Scholarship and the Marilyn Marshall White Enrichment Award. While attending Los Fresnos High School, Rodriguez was the founder of the Peer Helpers Club and the Literary Arts Club. She has studied classical piano, served on her church worship team, and is a volunteer piano teacher for young girls. Her accomplishments include graduating as the salutatorian of her high school and being a National AP Scholar. Rodriguez plans to major in music and Plan II Honors, as well as pursue a certificate in core texts and ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. She is the daughter of Terry and Fernando Rodriguez, Jr.
Nicholas Van Lente from Austin, Texas, is the recipient of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending James Bowie High School, Van Lente served as the vice president of Young Latino Leaders, captain of the debate team, and a member of the National Honors Society. His awards include receiving his Eagle Scout Award and being part of the College Board National Recognition Program. He plans to major in Plan II Honors and international relations and explore areas of study in political science and law. He is the son of Fabiana and Mike Van Lente.