Forty Acres Scholars Program Class of 2026 Announced
Posted April 28, 2022
The Texas Exes is pleased to announce the Forty Acres Scholars Program Class of 2026. More than 3,400 students applied for the elite scholarship program, which inspires and nurtures visionary leaders and helps them use their talents to benefit society. On March 3-5, 60 impressive finalists joined our staff and current Scholars on the UT campus for a full weekend showcasing life on the Forty Acres. The weekend included visits to their admitted colleges, a mock class with a UT professor, a field tour in the DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, networking dinners, informative panels, and more—all concluding with an individual interview.
Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to our 19 new and exceptional Forty Acres Scholars. Among the incoming class are two founders and CEOs of nonprofits, three founders of school clubs, and two STEM leaders. Also in the mix are three high school valedictorians, three high school salutatorians, and three Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipients. Many more are decorated varsity athletes, sports captains, club presidents, accomplished musicians, and AP Scholars with Distinction.
These Scholars will receive full funding for their tuition, a living stipend, a book stipend, and opportunities for enrichment activities including a global experience, professional and personal development, volunteer and service opportunities, and the chance to help further their education. 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 2026:
Angeline Aloysius from Georgetown, Texas is the recipient of the Martin Dies, Jr. Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Rouse High School, Aloysius participated in Cross Country, band, and water polo, and founded a student-led environmental initiative committed to keeping the school district clean. She was the engagement and intake director at a youth-led, international climate organization, regional director at a national advocacy organization working to end global poverty, and led a team of 6 international students in a telemedicine-focused challenge for an international research competition. Aloysius’s awards and recognitions include two-time recipient of Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award, First Honors Academic Honor Roll, and HOBY Academic All-Stars. She plans to major in International Relations and Global Studies. She is the daughter of Cynthia Aloysius and Al Vethamuthu.
Leonardo Andrade from Houston, Texas is the recipient of the AIM Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending YES Prep Public Schools - Gulfton, Andrade participated in varsity soccer and student council. He was the student council president and worship guitarist at his church. Andrade is recognized as the salutatorian of his class. He plans to major in Business and pursue his interest in fashion and entrepreneurship by adding a Textiles and Apparels major and Entrepreneurship minor. He is the son of Ruby and Hector Andrade.
Deisiree De Jesus from Edinburg, Texas is the recipient of the Mary John and Ralph Spence Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending South Texas ISD World Scholars, De Jesus was a four-year member and president of the Technology Student Association chapter at her school, which is a competitive STEM organization. She is also a host and current president for her school district's first talk show, "Lion Talks." She is an executive board member for the school's Student Council organization as part of the Texas Association of Student Councils. De Jesus’s awards and recognitions include being a state and national qualifier for the Technology Student Association and placing first numerous times as a UIL Ready Writing competitor. De Jesus plans to major in Youth and Community Studies. She is the daughter of Lourdes and Narciso De Jesus.
Molly Hunter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Ares Scholarship, supported by the Wood Family. While attending Durham Academy Upper School, Hunter participated in several varsity sports and student government. She was the varsity soccer, basketball and field hockey captain, "triple crown" award, Signed Southern Etsy shop founder, and a Comet House School, Nairobi, Kenya teacher and fundraiser. Hunter’s awards and recognitions include being a school candidate for the DAR Good Citizens program, a National Field Hockey Coaches Association Academic Squad Scholar of Distinction, and she served as class president. She plans to major in Special Education. She is the daughter of Anna and Chris Hunter.
Ryan Karkowsky from Houston, Texas is the recipient of the John and Cynthia Adkins/Texas Exes Houston Chapter Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending The Kinkaid School, Karkowsky participated as project leader and volunteer on the Community Service Leadership Council, marketing and business operations intern with the Houston Astros, peer mentor to a group of students in the freshman class to be a role model for them and to help acclimate them to a new school. Karkowsky’s awards and recognitions include being inducted into the Kinkaid chapter of the national Cum Laude Society, recognized by the Texas House of Representatives for his performance in the High School Aerospace Scholars NASA program, and receiving the Kinkaid School's "Class of 1953 Citizenship Award" junior year. He plans to major in Plan II Honors and Business Honors. He is the son of Elizabeth and Frank Karkowsky.
Bradley Klinck from Alexandria, Virginia is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Lana Jones and Will O’Hara. While attending Bishop Ireton High School, Klinck participated in Lacrosse, Student Council, and Broadcast. He was the Student Council president, Student TV News Broadcast Club president/chief editor, and a Varsity Lacrosse Letterman. Klinck’s awards and recognitions include the Harry F Byrd Jr Leadership Award and the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network - Hispanic College Institute “Pay it Forward” Award. He also started the film festival at his school and has a black belt in Taekwondo. Klinck plans to major in Radio-Television-Film. He is the son of Martha and Heino Klinck.
Rudy Lea III from Garland, Texas is the recipient of the Susie and John L. Adams Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Dallas Christian School, Lea participated in student government, mock trial, and Texas Boys State. He was the student body president, founder/president of Mock Trial team, and elected as Comptroller of Public Accounts during Texas Boys State. Lea’s awards and recognitions include commended scholar, National African American Recognition Program, and salutatorian. Throughout high school, he explored his interest in business through summer programs with Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas, and C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. Lea plans to major in Business Honors and Accounting, and add a minor in Finance. He is the son of Jayanthi and Rudy Lea.
Chelsie Lopez from Houston, Texas is the recipient of the AIM Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Empowerment High School, Lopez played volleyball all four years and participated in Student Council, holding the position of class president her freshman and senior years. She was also a member of National Honor Society and a lead pianist. Lopez’s awards and recognitions include being salutatorian of her class, Volleyball Captain, and Choir Accompanist. She plans to major in Marketing. She is the daughter of Tania Montoya.
Sophia Maynard from Houston, Texas is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, in memory of Ben Thomas Featherston. While attending Mirabeau B Lamar Senior High School, Maynard participated in Best Buddies, where she was vice president and Student Advisory Board member, and a junior officer in National Honor Society. She was also on the student leadership team at her church. Maynard’s awards and recognitions include the Mirabeau B Lamar Award of Excellence and the Lamar Lone Star Society. She plans to major in Special Education and pursue her interest in Government. She is the daughter of Jessica Meyer.
Andrew McAlinden from Austin, Texas is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Joanie & Doug Aron and Rebekah & Gary Reaves, as well as the Chevron Enrichment Award. While attending Vandegrift High School, McAlinden participated in Robotics, Texas Boys State, Young Men’s Service League, and Mu Alpha Theta. He was the FRC Robotics Crack Team Software lead, Mu Alpha Theta president, and participated in UIL Academics Competitions. McAlinden’s awards and recognitions include valedictorian, FRC Robotics State Champion, UIL Computer Science VCM 2 4th place in state (778 competitors), and the President’s Volunteer Service Award. He was also elected as Texas Boys State Party secretary, president of Young Men's Service League Chapter, and made a robot that autonomously collects tennis balls. McAlinden plans to major in Computer Science as a Turing Scholar. He is the son of Susan and Paul McAlinden.
Abigail Mimbela from El Paso, Texas is the recipient of the Barbara and Alan Dreeben Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Pebble Hills High School, Mimbela participated in her school newspaper, National Honor Society, and founded a nonprofit. She was the class president, National Honor Society president, and editor-in-chief of the Teal Tribune. Mimbela’s awards and recognitions include valedictorian, copy editor of a Colombia Scholastic Press Association gold medalist yearbook publication, and varsity soprano in the school's sweepstakes winning choir. Mimbela founded a nonprofit called Devote-a-Tote dedicated to funding women's financial literacy and education. She plans to major in Business Honors and Finance and add a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is the daughter of Monika Muller and David Mimbela.
Lucienne Moran from Spring, Texas is the recipient of the Charline and Red McCombs Family Forty Acres Scholarship, as well as the Marilyn Marshall White Enrichment Award. While attending the John Cooper School, Moran participated in theater and Youth for Human Rights USA Organization. She was the founder of El Puente, an organization that works to make tertiary education more accessible to first-generation Hispanic high school students, the student director for the Youth for Human Rights USA Organization, and received a lead role in her school’s Theatrical Plays all four years. Moran’s awards and recognitions include working with two peers to win $2,000 for 2nd place at the University of Houston Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship Think Tank Competition, being a National Merit Commended Scholar, and receiving the Citizenship Award from her school’s faculty. She plans to major in Business Honors and Plan II Honors. She is the daughter of Gisele Urrutibeheity and Kevin Moran.
Yahir Olivares from Houston, Texas is the recipient of the Sylvie and Gary Crum Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending SP Waltrip Senior High School, Olivares participated in UIL Academic Team, EMERGE HISD, and CIEE. He was an EMERGE HISD ambassador, UIL Academic team captain, and CIEE Global Navigator. Olivares’s awards and recognitions include being a two-time UIL Academics District Champion for Social Studies and Current Issues and Events, NCCER Certified, and Highest Honor Roll recipient. He is also fluent in Spanish and plays the guitar. Olivares plans to major in Business. He is the son of Maria Flores and Jose Olivares.
Akshita Rawat from Helotes, Texas is the recipient of the Hobby/Beckworth Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Sandra Day O’Connor High School, Rawat participated in Girls Who Code. She was the Girls Who Code president, Alpha Gamma Tau president, and the Mu Alpha Theta Web Executive. Rawat’s awards and recognitions include valedictorian, Computer Science UIL team: 1st place, O’Connor O Award for Academic Excellence, and Computer Science UIL individual: 2nd place. She plans to major in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honors Program. She is the daughter of Anisha and Pawan Rawat.
Corey’L Sams from Houston, Texas is the recipient of the John and Cynthia Adkins/Texas Exes Houston Chapter Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Providence Classical School, Sams participated in Varsity Track and National Honor Society. He was the Varsity Track Team Captain and served as part of the Media Team at his church. His awards and recognitions include being Academic All-State Honorable Mention for Track & Field, and receiving school-wide Creative Writing Awards for “Best Free Verse” and “Best Traditional Form.” He also started a clothing company called CAPEL in his sophomore year and a podcast show, CRE82INSPIRE, when he was a junior. Sams plans to major in Business Honors and complete the Project Management Certificate Program. He is the son of Andrea and Corey Sams.
Isabella Soares from Pearland, Texas is the recipient of the Erin and Thomas A. Bunkley Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Glenda Dawson High School, Soares participated in Music Honor Society and Choir. She was the Music Honor Society president, executive director of Black Lives Matter Pearland, and Photovoltaic Researcher at the Texas Center of Superconductivity. Soares’s awards and recognitions include National Merit Scholar, "Best Delegate" at the Day of Infamy Crisis Committee for Houston Area Model UN, and being awarded First Division ratings at the 2021 and 2022 Choral Solo and Ensemble competitions. She plans to major in Chemical Engineering. She is the daughter of Rebekah and Mario Soares.
Ashleigh Trujillo from San Antonio, Texas is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Gregory Nance Moore in memory of Kathleen Cavanagh Moore. While attending Luther Burbank High School, Trujillo participated in band and National Honor Society. She was the trumpet section leader and senior NHS vice president. Trujillo’s awards and recognitions include being top 5% of her class, "A" honor roll all four years, and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She was part of her High School Marching Band for four years which became the first SAISD band to make UIL Area finals. Trujillo plans to major in Youth and Community Studies with a focus in Urban Teachers-Social Studies and add a Political Science minor. She is the daughter of Sandra Govea and Christopher Trujillo.
Wesland Ung from Allen, Texas is the recipient of the Texas Exes Dallas Chapter Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Allen High School, Ung was a violist in the Allen High School varsity orchestra, and a member of the Allen Archery Team. He was the captain of the demonstration team and an instructor at a Taekwondo school. Ung’s awards and recognitions include being a three-time Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipient, AP Scholar with Distinction, and a state champion in the National Archery of the Schools Program. He plans to major in Biochemistry. He is the son of Judy Wong and Pinthor Ung.
Sahan Yerram from Coppell, Texas is the recipient of the Karen and Charles Matthews, Jr. Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Coppell High School, Yerram participated in marching band and the Dallas Sierra Club. He was the Dallas Sierra Club executive board member, president/founder of Hygiene for All, and Coppell Marching Band vice president. Yerram’s awards and recognitions include being a National Merit Finalist, DFW Sustainable Leadership Award recipient, and Texas Conservation Alliance Grant recipient. He also plays three instruments. Yerram plans to major in Business Honors. He is the son of Rani Kundaram and Sai Yerram.