Hawkins awarded scholarship by Jno G. Lewis Lodge
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Members of the Jno G. Lewis PHA Masonic Lodge #622 presented Copperas Cove High School Senior Ashli Hawkins with a $1,000 scholarship at the lodge Saturday morning.
The lodge held a scholarship contest, open to all high school seniors in the area, with a deadline of March 1. The requirements included Texas residency and involvement in high school communities and activities. Applicants also had to include their GPA and ACT and SAT scores and their class rank. The initial application included a 500-word essay and a biographical sketch of themselves and required three letters of recommendation from a school counselor, teacher and a community leader.
On the day of the contest, the student had to write another 500-word essay in 40 minutes on a topic revealed the day of. This year’s topic was about whether children of illegal immigrants should get an education.
The Roosevelt Hudgens Education System Contest is named after Roosevelt Hudgens, one of the founding members of the Jno G. Lewis Masonic Lodge, which was founded in 1979. It has been held annually for the last 15 years, according to the lodge’s Worshipful Master Donald Buckram Sr.
Hawkins will be attending Huston–Tillotson University in Austin, Texas in the fall.
“Receiving this scholarship to me means that I can take the money, and I can put it towards my education because I do want to study kinesiology and become an athletic trainer and then hopefully become a physical therapist and open my own practice, so it will just make paying for college a lot more easier while trying to keep in contact with my studies,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said that her junior and senior years were easy and full of fun classes since she had gotten most of her credits necessary for graduation during her freshman and sophomore years. When the pandemic started, Hawkins said everything slowed down. Hawkins was an athletic trainer and participating in sports and DECA this year in addition to working.
“I didn’t have much time to study for my tests, but I still found a way to study for them, and so with this pandemic, it’s made a lot of the stress go down to like one percent,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins became interested in becoming an athletic trainer after she tore her ACL in 2015 and had to see a physical therapist. She was so interested in the different exercises her therapist had her do and asked a lot of questions.
“Ever since then, I’ve always been really fascinated with becoming an athletic trainer, and then at the end of my junior year, I joined the athletic training team for the high school, really loved it, and then I just got more and more intrigued,” Hawkins said.
Buckram said he was glad to be able to award the scholarship to Hawkins.
“It means a lot because we see the work that she put in throughout the year because she won track; she worked with the Booster Club, and for us to be able to give a scholarship to a person like that- she’s real deep in the community- it makes us feel very, very aware that we’ve done something like this in this community, and we look forward to it every year,” Buckram said.
In addition to the annual scholarship, the lodge also helps with back to school backpack drives and other events.
“We like to give back to the community, especially the community that we’re in, the Copperas Cove community,” Buckram said. “We take good men and make them better, and our goal is to be in the community and make this community better, and we’re going to continue to do that as long as I’m the Worshipful Master.”