With the last half of his senior year disrupted by COVID-19, Morrison High School senior Trevor Hughes has been focused lately on finishing his senior coursework, working a job and prospecting for financial aid to pay for his tuition at Oklahoma State University next year.
Hughes learned Wednesday that he has one less thing to worry about next year because his college is largely paid for thanks to the Oklahoma City Community foundation and OG&E, which has selected him to receive its OG&E Positive Energy Scholarship.
After being selected from a field of 300 applicants, he’ll receive $15,000 next year. The award can be renewed if he maintains a 3.0 GPA, making it ultimately worth up to $60,000.
Morrison superintendent Brent Haken was instrumental in surprising Trevor and his family with the news. Haken was informed about two weeks ago that his student had been selected and since then he has been trying to organize a celebration while keeping the secret.
He asked teachers if they would be available to help a student celebrate getting an award.
He asked Trevor’s parents Devory and Marie Hughes if they could be home at a certain time, but didn’t explain exactly why.
Trevor had done work around the school so it wasn’t unusual to ask him to come to campus, but when the day came, he was scheduled to work and Haken had to convince him to take off.
Once he got him there, Haken had to keep him for long enough for the parade of vehicles that would drive by and congratulate him to get organized. So he invited him to lunch, then asked him to fill out a lengthy “school climate survey” that he found online.
He said Trevor kept asking him how many other students had to do it.
When Trevor learned the survey had simply been a diversion to keep him away from home, he responded with mock outrage saying, “You wrote 70 questions?”
“I Googled it!” Haken responded.
Trevor didn’t bother trying to wipe the shocked smile off his face as friends and OG&E representatives drove by his house shouting, “Congratulations, Trevor!”
His dad Devory and mom Marie both say they are proud of all their kids but they are very happy for Trevor. With Trevor being the third of four children, having most of his school expenses covered takes a weight off, Marie said.
Trevor said had planned to pay his own way through school, working, hopefully getting some scholarships and taking out student loans if he needed to. He didn’t mind the idea.
He and his mom have worked on many scholarship applications. Trevor estimates he applied for about 30 of them.
Kirby Nickolas, OG&E Manager of Brand Engagement and Partnerships, told Trevor the committee was impressed with his character and how well-rounded he is.
In addition to maintaining his grades, he plays football and baseball, participates in FFA and plays piano.
“I’m a very proud grandmother,” Joy Weber, his Gran, said.
Trevor plans to attend OSU and major in mechanical engineering with an eye toward working with oil storage facilities.
The Positive Energy Scholarship program, in its second year, is open to high school seniors living in the OG&E service area in Oklahoma and Western Arkansas. The student’s family must be OG&E customers.
The scholarship committee gives preference to students majoring in a STEM field like science, technology, engineering or mathematics and to students pursing a degree that leads to a career in the energy field.
The students must have a cumulative 3.25 GPA and have scored at least 25 on their ACT or 1,200 on their SAT.
Financial need is another consideration.
Nickolas said the scholarship committee wants to make as big an impact in a student’s life as possible, with a focus on students who have a need for financial assistance as they pursue higher education.