Four Urban Students Named 2017 Math and Science Scholars

Council of the Great City Schools Awards ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Scholarships

(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Four graduating high school seniors have been selected by the Council of the Great City Schools(CGCS) to receive the 2017 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarship. The students were chosen from several hundred applicants in big-city school districts across the nation for academic performance, leadership qualities and community involvement.

Now in its eighth year, the scholarship was created by former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., the first African American to walk in space, and ExxonMobil to encourage and assist promising students of diverse backgrounds who plan to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies after high school.

“ExxonMobil is helping to foster the next generation of STEM leaders,” said Ben Soraci, general manager of Public and Government Affairs for ExxonMobil. “These scholarships represent just one way we are encouraging students of diverse backgrounds to pursue STEM-related studies and careers.”

The awards are given annually to African-American and Hispanic seniors from high schools in the 68 urban school districts represented by Council.

“We are indeed proud of the winners in this highly competitive national scholarship program,” said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. “These young men and women may become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow thanks to the support of ExxonMobil and the encouragement of Dr. Harris.”

Each scholar will receive $5,000 for continued education in a STEM-related field. This year’s award winners are:

  • Paul Davis, who attended Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, MO
  • Diana Moreno, who attended Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School in El Paso, TX
  • Caleb Myers, who attended Townview School of Science and Engineering in Dallas, TX
  • Robin Ryce, who attended Renaissance High School in Detroit, MI

In the fall, Davis plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to study aerospace engineering. Moreno will pursue a degree in biochemistry at University of Texas El Paso. Myers plans to study chemical/biomedical engineering at Prairie View A&M University, and Ryce will study engineering at University of Michigan.

“I am consistently amazed and inspired by these students and their eagerness to succeed,” said Dr. Harris, also a physician and president and founder of The Harris Foundation. “Each of them will be such an asset to the universities they attend and as future innovators in our workforce. It’s an honor to help support them in their endeavors.”

Administration of the scholarship program, including the application process, pre-selection and presentation of awards, is provided by the CGCS. Dr. Harris makes the final selection of recipients.

About The Council of the Great City Schools

The Council of the Great City Schools is the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of urban public schools. Composed of 68 large city school districts, its mission is to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research and media relations. The organization also provides a network for school districts sharing common problems to exchange information, and to collectively address new challenges as they emerge to deliver the best possible education for urban youth.

About ExxonMobil

Exxon Mobil Corporation, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil engages in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, with a focus on math and science in the United States, promote women as catalysts for economic development, and combat malaria. In 2016, together with its employees and retirees, ExxonMobil, its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $242 million in contributions worldwide. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contribution programs is available at

About The Harris Foundation

Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization based in Houston, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. The foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and the economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.

The education mission of The Harris Foundation is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through the support of social, recreational and educational programs. The Harris Foundation believes students can be prepared now for the careers of the future through a structured educational program and the use of positive role models. More than 50,000 students have participated and benefited from THF programs.

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