2023 Presidents' Scholarship Recipients
On Thursday, June 29, Cook Children’s awarded the 2023 Presidents’ Scholarships during a special awards luncheon with recipients and their families. 10 children of Cook Children’s employees earned scholarships of $5,000 each. Learn more about each recipient below!
Brianna Little is the daughter of Mandy Little, a Fetal Nurse Coordinator in the Fetal Diagnostic and Treatment Department. Brianna will soon be entering her senior year at Tarleton State University where she is studying to become a nurse in hopes of providing compassionate care to future patients.
Brianna has completed clinical rounds with Texas Health Recourses and Trinity Terrace. She is a current member of the Presidential Honors program and has landed on both the Presidential and Dean’s list during her time at Tarleton. Brianna was also a member of the Health Occupations Students of America Organization in 2020 and the Student Nurses Association last spring.
It is Brianna’s goal to bring light to her patients at all stages of life through respect, safety and compassionate care. It is apparent that she has already demonstrated these practices as many of her professors at Tarleton’s School of Nursing have agreed she will be a wonderful asset to the nursing profession.
Hailey Holt is the daughter of Amie Holt, a Case Manager in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Hailey is currently a level 1 nursing student in Texas Tech University’s Nursing School program. She is a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and Texas Tech Student Mobilization Organization which welcomes and encourages students to connect by attending university events. Hailey has landed on the Dean’s list multiple times while attending Texas Tech and is an active member with the Redeemer Church Ministry.
During her time as a Certified Nurse Assistant at Rose Garden memory care in Florida last summer, Hailey assisted elderly patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Although this experience helped to prepare Hailey for nursing school applications, her main goal is to contribute to critical care of children and encourage them to endure through their greatest challenges. This goal may one day include serving in rural areas or parts of the world that do not have access to quality healthcare.
Madelyn Willis is the daughter of Shannon Willis, a Registered Nurse on 6 Main here at the Medical Center. As a 2023 graduate of Birdville High School, Madelyn will attend Harding University in the fall where she plans to pursue a degree in psychology.
During her time at Birdville High, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Varsity Cheer Team, Choir and Theatre Groups, International Thespian Society among many other activities, volunteer positions and programs.
Her decision to study psychology is personal in many ways and a direct reflection of both her compassionate heart and interactions with the healthcare system. After volunteering with patients of Cook Children’s who had similar experiences to her own, Madelyn now hopes to continue aiding others by bridging the gap between the neurological and counseling aspects of recovery by becoming a child psychologist.
Paris Hairston is the daughter of Fallon Thompson, a Spanish Interpreter in the Case Management Department. Paris will soon be entering her sophomore year at Tarleton State University where she is studying to earn a degree in Marketing. She hopes to one day use her education in digital marketing to focus on creating advances that will improve communication between providers and patients in health care.
While attending Tarleton State University, Paris has become an active member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, a recruitment counselor, Tarleton Transition Mentor, orientation staff leader, and the Vice President of an intermural tennis team.
Paris is a natural leader and has a heart for philanthropy. At just 15 years old, she rallied her family, friends and the community to help raise $22,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year campaign.
Rae Chi is the daughter of Raquel Chi, a Registered Nurse in our Special Procedure Area at the Medical Center. As a 2023 graduate of Keller High School, Rae plans to attend the University of Houston in the fall where she will major in Biology with the goal of attending medical school to become a pediatric gastroenterologist.
Rae has been a Junior Volunteer here at Cook Children’s Medical Center since 2021 where she has provided care to patients in the Dodson Clinic assisting nurses and healthcare providers. Her most impactful experience was supporting and instructing disabled and special needs children in learning how to independently ride a two-wheel bike at the iCan Ride Bike Camp.
Ranked at number 3 in her class, Rae was also the president of both the National Technical Honor Society and Future Health Professionals organization. Along with her many academic achievements and volunteering positions, Rae was also a member of the Keller High Varsity Swim team.
Sydney Airheart is the daughter of Shannon Airheart a Registered Nurse and Database Coordinator in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Sydney is a 2023 graduate of Fort Worth Country Day and will be attending Texas A&M University in the fall where she will study Biomedical Science with the ultimate goal of becoming a physician.
Sydney has accomplished many academic and athletic achievements. She was the captain of the Fort Worth Country Day Track and Field team while also a participating member on the varsity Volleyball and Basketball team. She was one of 12 students selected by her school faculty to be a part of the Link Crew, a competitive leadership position that welcomed and mentored freshman.
The Link Crew was just one of many leadership groups Sydney participated in followed by several honors and awards including receiving the Edward P. Bass Scholarship, remaining a consecutive High Honor Roll student and member of the Mu Alpha Theta and Cum Laude Society. Sydney has desired to work in healthcare for many years after watching her mom’s career. She hopes to one day be a part of a team that provides care, comfort and support to the most vulnerable patients in need.
Tan Ha is the son of Nancy Nguyen, a Medical Laboratory Scientist in the Laboratory at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Tan graduated from Richland High School in 2023 and will be attending Boston University in the fall. He plans to study Mathematics in hopes of becoming a research analyst in the medical field.
Tan was ranked #4 in his class, was a member of the National Honor Society, a National Merit Commended and QuestBridge Scholar among many other academic achievements. He has been an active member of many groups such as the Science club, Texas Alliance of Minorities in Engineering and captain of spelling and number sense teams in Academic UIL. Tan participated in summer orchestra for several years and played on the varsity tennis team. He is a choir member and pianist at his church where is still very involved in volunteering and teaching others.
Tan hopes that by perusing a career in research analysis that he can help determine the direction of modern medicine and help to develop strategies to combat any future challenges in healthcare.
Zane Bassham is the son of Lenee Bassham, the Director of Child Safety for the Center for Children’s Health with Cook Children’s Health Care System. Zane will be entering his sophomore year at Texas A&M University – Galveston where he is studying Marine Biology.
He is a member of the Texas A&M Pact Living Learning Community, Save our Seas Club and an active volunteer with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. Throughout high school Zane participated in multiple productions as a trumpet player and member of the Haltom High Marching Band, Symphonic Winds and Jazz Band.
Through his research of marine life, he will be focusing on the study of jellyfish and the many possibilities they could provide to improve health care and the treatment of diseases from these findings. Zane hopes to be a part of groundbreaking research that has the possibility to advance cancer treatments.
Madison Murphy is the daughter of Anita Murphy, a Registered Nurse at Cook Children’s Waco Specialty Clinic. Madison graduated from Abbott High School in 2023 and plans to attend Texas A&M in College Station this fall where she will be majoring in Nutrition.
Madison held many leadership roles such as student council secretary as well as their reporter and Abbott Varsity Cheer Captain. Along with Cheer, she was a member of the National Honor Society, track, cross country, softball and tennis teams. Madison participated in multiple community events and was the Miss Texas Czech Slovak Queen 3 years in a row.
Madison’s hopes to one day become a registered dietarian and work within pediatrics to educate children and their parents about how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Josh Carlton is the son of Rhonda Carlton, the Pharmacy Supervisor at the Medical Center. Josh graduated from Keller High School in 2023 and will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station this fall where he will be majoring in Biology with the goal of becoming a Physician.
He was a member of the Principals Cabinet, Keller Center for Advanced Learning, National Honor Society, Keller Track and Field Team, Captain of the Cross Country team and President of the Keller High Student Council. Josh received the faculty top ten distinction award and was a HOSA State Qualifier in Pharmacy Science 2 years in a row. He also received the Most School Spirit and Best All-Around Senior Awards in his final year. Through his ability to build meaningful relationships, Josh hopes to one day build personal connections with the pediatric patients and the community he serves.