GTYP Awards Four Local High School Graduates $1000 Scholarships


Four local high school graduates were recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to attend college from the Greater Texarkana Young Professionals organization. The four winners were KeeYonece Butler of Arkansas High School, Nistha Neupane from Pleasant Grove High School, Gavin Bailey from James Bowie High School, and Madison Whatley from Genoa Central High School.

Press Release:

Greater Texarkana Young Professionals today announced four local high school graduates have won a total of $4,000 in scholarships to pay for their first semester of college. The four students were selected from a pool of 48 applicants. Each student had to meet a rigorous criterion to be considered for the award. The four winners were KeeYonece Butler (Arkansas High School), Nistha Neupane (Pleasant Grove High School), Gavin Bailey (James Bowie High School), and Madison Whatley (Genoa Central High School).

“Since the creation of the Greater Texarkana Young Professionals, we have been offering this scholarship to local high school graduates,” GTYP Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chair Heather Buster said. “We started by spending our own funds, and now we have partnered with Commercial National Bank to grow the number of scholarships offered. This year we offered four $1,000 scholarships – $2,000 was donated from our own funds, and CNB donated another $2000. We are beyond excited to have awarded these four well deserving students with financial assistance, and we are planning to grow the number of scholarships available next year.”

The Greater Texarkana Young Professionals Scholarship award is meant to recognize graduating seniors who will be selected from a pool of student applicants from Bowie, Miller, and Little River County. Recipients of this scholarship will be chosen by the Greater Texarkana Young Professionals Board of Directors based on the following selection criteria:

• Academic Merit – Student Applicants achieving a grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0
scale, course selection, credit load, and active involvement in extracurricular activities.
• Leadership – Students who demonstrate experience leading groups and providing direction to
others including teaching, training, organizing, managing, and carrying extra responsibility on
behalf of a group or organization. Being held in high regard by one’s peers for being a role model to other students and making improvements and achieving success with or on the behalf of others.
• Community Service – The committee considers not only involvement in community service, but
more importantly, the type of service, and impact that your service has on a particular individual or
group. The committee considers volunteerism, service learning, or internships that show civic
responsibility and engagement.
• Unusual Force of Character – Student Applicants who have overcome obstacles related to health,
family, social, educational, or economic disadvantages are encouraged to apply. Any circumstance
that shows strength of character and potential for achievement should be stated in your application.
• Creative Accomplishment – The committee recognizes originality and innovation in the arts and
humanities, sciences, or social science, and considers the accomplishments of writers, artists, and
musicians just as seriously as the accomplishments as scientists.
• Financial Need – Student Applicants applying for the scholarship based on financial need should
clearly state their situation regarding the economics of financing their college education in their

To apply, Student Applicants must submit:
• A one-two page essay describing why the applicant feels he or she should be awarded the scholarship.
• A copy of high school transcript
• A resume
• One-character reference letter
The scholarship applications will open again in March 2023. High school graduates who are interested in applying next year can find information about the scholarship at or by email at


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After more than 30 years with radio and TV stations, I decided to do my own thing by blogging. It affords me the ability to stay super involved in the community, but still, have plenty of time with my 3 new granddaughters and other local projects.

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