HART Awards Annual Scholarships

Six UH COE Students Receive Houston Area Retired Teachers (HART) Scholarships

(Courtesy of the University of Houston Department of Education)

HART Scholarship recipients from left to right: Evelyn Duarte, Dallas Aguilar, Meghan Galvan, Andrea Cruz, Marisol Bueno
HART Scholarship recipients from left to right: Evelyn Duarte, Dallas Aguilar, Meghan Galvan, Andrea Cruz and Marisol Bueno (not pictured Karmen Jones).

Each spring, the Houston Area Retired Teachers (HART) awards scholarships to six junior or senior students who are enrolled in a college of education.  They have awarded the HART scholarships since 1989 and have given away over $160,000 dollars!  The committee rotates the scholarships among the University of St. Thomas, Houston Baptist University, Rice University, Texas Southern University, and the University of Houston (UH).  This year, the University of Houston’s College of Education (UH COE) was chosen to receive the scholarships.

Each $1000 scholarship is applied to the students’ Fall 2016 tuition and guidelines were that the applicants must have teaching as a life goal and be of superior achievement and acute need.  UH COE received over twenty applications, all with well written essays on why the student wanted to become a classroom teacher.  Financial need, GPA, and community service were also factors in the application decision making process.

Teresa “Sesa” Edgar, clinical associate professor and acting director of undergraduate student success, chaired a committee from UH COE to narrow down the selection to ten finalists.  Those students’ applications were then sent to HART for the final selection.  The following students received the HART scholarships: Dallas Aguilar, Marisol Bueno, Andrea Cruz, Evelyn Duarte, Meghan Galvan, and Karmen Jones.

All winners were treated to a special awards ceremony on May 13, 2016 during the HART committee meeting.  UH COE teacher certification officer, Krista Coleman was on hand to present the scholarships to the students.  Coleman said, “I was overwhelmed with joy when Jane Eixmann, HART Committee Chair, asked members who were UH COE Alum to stand up and half the room stood to signify Cougar pride.” 

The students received a nice certificate as well as the scholarship money to be applied to their Fall tuition.  This year, George Havarn and family donated the Lavern Havarn endowed scholarship to honor her contributions to HART and education.  Ms. Havarn was the HART President in 1998-99 and was a long-time educator in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). Out of the six UH COE scholarship recipients, Evelyn Duarte was chosen as the recipient of the Lavern Havarn endowed scholarship.  This was the first time it has been awarded.  Duarte said “It’s a humbling opportunity to receive this scholarship and it will definitely help me in my road towards graduation. This scholarship will make it possible for me to take the necessary classes in order to graduate in the fall free of debt and worries.”  She decided to become a teacher “because I really hope to be instrumental in the life of a child and instill them with the mindset that they are capable of great things. I hope to impact their learning career and truly help them make a difference in this world.”

It will be five years before UH receives the next opportunity to award the HART scholarships.  Jane Eixmann, HART Scholarship Selection Chair for this year said [about HART], “We support current and future areas of education and teaching in HISD.”  HART is also involved in other educational endeavors such as the Continuing Education Fund, which gives funds for staff development to current teachers in HISD, as well as Books for Children, which provides each child in a selected elementary school with a new book each year.

Students sometimes hesitate to apply for scholarships but Duarte said, “I advise students to apply for as many scholarships as they can because there is always kind people out there willing to help us with our studies. In the past I was discouraged because I did not receive scholarships that I signed up for but I never gave up. I kept applying and finally my time came and I’m extremely thankful towards the HART members.”