Two Local Graduates Receive Big Tex Scholarships

Local graduate Reece Bell
Photo courtesy Reece Bell

Local high school graduates Reece Bell, David H. Carter High School; and Da’Naiya Terrell, Red Oak High School; recently received Big Tex Scholarships to further their education. The scholarships, each for $6,000 per semester, are part of the State Fair of Texas Seasonal Employee Scholarship program. In 2024, the program awarded nine scholarships to seasonal employees or their direct descendants.

Reece Bell, from Cedar Hill, said his scholarship came through his mother and grandmother: Karla Mergerson (Grandmother), and Stefnise Bell Walker (Mother). Both have worked part-time as seasonal employees of the State Fair of Texas for 15 years, most recently in ticket sales.

“I definitely plan on using the scholarship for higher education,” Reece said. “I completed my Associates Degree while in High school and finished #4 in my class at David W. Carter High School. I’m committed to honoring my mother’s legacy by continuing to strive for excellence in my academics goals.”

State Fair of Texas Seasonal Employee Scholarship

Nine recipients were awarded the State Fair of Texas Seasonal Employee Scholarship, including: Angelica Arreola, Reece Bell, Henry Davis, Rosa Escalante, Taylor Murrell, Da’Naiya Terrell, JJaxsen Vann, Hattie Watson, and Whitney Watson.

Local graduate Da'Naiya Terrell wins Big Tex scholarship
Da’Naiya Terrell, courtesy photo

Da’Naiya Terrell, a 2024 graduate of Red Oak High School, was awarded a Big Tex Seasonal Employee Scholarship through her mother, Erica Terrill. Da’Naiya plans to attend Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.

“I started working for the fair in 2018 in the department of Redemption Coupons. I’ve met some wonderful people who have become like family to me since working at the fair. I enjoy working the fair every year and being a part of history. This scholarship will be used to open the door for my daughter to further her education, and to be the first in our family to receive a Bachelor degree,” Erica Terrell said.

The State Fair of Texas Scholarships

The Fair awarded over $1.3 million in new college scholarships this year: 224 scholarships to deserving students across the Lone Star State; 106 Juanita Craft Scholarships to Dallas ISD students; and 106 Youth Livestock Scholarships to students throughout Texas. Nine Seasonal Employee Scholarships, one Benny Clark Memorial Scholarship, one Peggy Sloan Memorial Scholarship, and one Terry Griffin Memorial Scholarship were also awarded. The Big Tex Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 3,500 students with a total of more than $18.8 million during the past 32 years.

Veronica Delgado, Big Tex Scholarship Coordinator, said recipients receive a $6,000 grant, renewable each semester if the student meets the criteria for renewal. Students must attend an accredited college, university, or trade school within the state of Texas. To qualify for scholarship renewal, recipients must enroll in and pass a minimum of 12 hours each semester. In addition, recipients must achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA in their first semester and a 3.0 cumulative GPA for every semester thereafter.

The Fair congratulates all of these deserving scholars on their personal and academic achievements and is excited to support them in pursuing their aspirations for higher education and the future of Texan youth. Local scholarship recipients and their families recently enjoyed an awards fair hosted by the State Fair of Texas, celebrating the 2024 Scholars and all their accomplishments.

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.

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