Meet Our 2023 Merle Hinkle Scholarship Winners
Congratulations to Isreal Santhosh and Jake Johnson, this year’s recipients of our annual Merle Hinkle Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to one high school student and one college student who best exemplifies the spirit of community service. Let’s learn more about these two exceptional Kelly Community members!
Israel is a freshman on the President’s Honor Roll at UT Tyler with a true passion for community volunteerism. He has volunteered for Hospice of East Texas and as a musician for New Covenant Church.
Israel also shows tremendous aptitude for biomedical research and medicine, having worked as a Research Assistant at UT Tyler’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Health Outcomes.
Israel’s fondest dream is to continue his pursuit of medical knowledge and serve as a physician, saying “While I am still unsure of what I would want to specialize in, once I shadow across multiple specialties I’ll get a better sense of which makes the most sense for me.”
Jake currently attends Big Sandy High School where he is an active member of FFA, the band and a multitude of sports.
Jake also volunteers as a little league softball and basketball coach and a math tutor for elementary school students, as well as for Special Olympics.
He plans to study at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and play baseball and basketball while pursuing a career in teaching and coaching. He adds “My volunteer experiences have helped me prepare for my future career by allowing me to learn how to connect with kids at all different levels and backgrounds.
The Kelly Community family is proud to award this scholarship, named for our late board chair Merle Hinkle, to these exemplary students, and we know they have bright futures ahead! Congratulations Israel and Jake!