More than 160 Texas Aspiring Teachers Receive Scholarship from Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation

July 31, 2020  

– Charles Butt Scholarship awarded to more than 300 scholarships since 2018 –

AUSTIN, TX (August 3, 2020) –A total of 168 future teachers were named as 2020 recipients of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. The Scholarship supports aspiring teachers with an $8,000 or $10,000 scholarship each year for up to four years, as well as ongoing training, mentorship, and networking opportunities facilitated by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation.This year’s Charles Butt Scholars were selected from a candidate pool of 440 applicants. Finalists participated in a rigorous selection process, which included an interview, group activity, and a demonstration teaching lesson before the 168 new scholars were selected. All scholars are committed to teaching in majority economically disadvantaged Texas public schools or in the hard-to-fill subject areas of math, science, special education, or bilingual education. 

“As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt throughout Texas, we have seen firsthand the essential role teachers play in our communities,” said Shari Albright, president of the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation. “It is so important that we continue to invest in the next generation of teachers who will continue the vital work of the profession. Our Charles Butt Scholars are among the best and brightest future teachers. Their commitment to the field of teaching, even amidst a pandemic, is inspiring.”

Scholars must also  demonstrate strong academic achievement, passion for education, written and oral communication collaboration, leadership, altruism, persistence and desire for continuous learning.

“The overarching goal of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers to help build a diverse, committed, and prepared pipeline of future Texas teachers,” said Thea Ulrich-Lewis, director of the Raising Texas Teachers initiative for the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation. “Raise Your Hand Texas believes that the future of Texas is in our public schools. The Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers is our way of ensuring that every student in every classroom in Texas is taught by an exceptional teacher.”

This year’s scholarships were awarded to students attending, or planning to attend, one of 10 partner universities selected by Raise Your Hand for their commitment to rigorous teacher preparation. Over time, the scholarship program will grow to include at least 500 scholars annually. A full list of scholars and partner universities is below.

Scholarships are available to prospective teachers who are currently in, or plan to enter, an eligible teacher preparation program at a partner university. Scholarships are available for eligible undergraduate and Master’s teacher preparation programs.  The application will reopen this fall, and will be available at

The scholarship is part of the Raising Texas Teachers initiative, a 10-year, $50 million project designed to support university-based teacher preparation programs in addressing the needs of 21st-century students, elevate the status of the teaching profession, and inspire top students to pursue teaching.

Our Lady of the Lake University

  • Nick Castillo
  • Gloria Cervantes
  • Sofia Colorado
  • Jennifer Franklin
  • Ashley Grijalva
  • Danielle Gonzales
  • Leslie Herrada
  • Esmeralda Hinojosa
  • Morgan Huth
  • Elizabeth Moreno
  • Carolina Rodriguez
  • Kimber Watson

Rice University

  • Isabella Gutierrez
  • Virginia Kleiber
  • Michael Lee
  • Lidia Ochoa


Southern Methodist University

  • Sarah Gilmore
  • Evelyn Negrete

Texas A&M University – College Station

  • Yoselin Agundis
  • Rebekah Ard
  • Emily Bard
  • Bethany Belote
  • Phillip Bondoc
  • Lillian Burton
  • Kaitlyn Dillingham
  • Kaleigh Evans
  • Cindy Fernandez
  • Bryan Hall
  • Chelsea Jernigan
  • Taylor Johnson
  • Kathryn Kaimana
  • Cristina Keys
  • Victoria Klein
  • Allison Macha
  • Hanna Maynard
  • Danielle Mokry
  • Emily Palmer
  • Scout Paterson
  • Alice Philpott
  • Addie Ralph
  • Amy Toeniskoetter


Texas Tech University

  • Cassidy Anderson
  • Delanie Atkinson
  • Kayla Bessellieu
  • Allison Bickerstaff
  • Kayla Campbell
  • Edith Castillo
  • Grace Cavazos
  • Mallory Chatham
  • Caelyn Collister
  • Jenna Coots
  • Jessica Ebert
  • Hailey Geiser
  • Kimberly Guerra
  • Rachel Harrell
  • Ashley Hernandez
  • Joshua Hill-Cloyd
  • Isabella Ibrahim
  • Lydia King
  • Cerissa Knight
  • Madison LaFont
  • Carolina Leija
  • Tania Lemus
  • Chyna Lewis
  • Makayla Mabra
  • Macie Mackey
  • Grace Matson
  • Lauren Mauldin
  • Madison McCord
  • Grayson Moore
  • Jennifer Perea
  • David Pierce
  • Margaret Robinson
  • Abbigale Rodriguez
  • Miranda Schiller
  • Melanie Scott
  • Darsheis Scruggs
  • Alondra Silva
  • Delaney Stallings
  • Bryanna Trujillo
  • Lynn Walker
  • Colby Williams
  • Victoria Williams
  • Ashley Witt

University of Houston

  • Angel Anchoncho
  • Etta Brown
  • Denise Chavez-Mora
  • Tia Davis
  • Marie Douge
  • Vanessa Flores
  • Ayania Hicks
  • Jacqueline Hoang
  • Angela Martinez
  • Ashlee Nabors
  • Danielle Nguyen
  • Andy Salinas
  • Merari Soto
  • Henry Weeden

University of North Texas – Dallas

  • Gloria Munoz

University of Texas – Austin

  • Leslie Aguilera
  • Christian Bear
  • Caroline Burke-Dullinger
  • Margaret Chambless
  • Corrina Contreras
  • Jaylan Cortez
  • Khusbu Dalal
  • Mayra Dimas
  • Claire Duffield
  • Joana Duran
  • Morgan DuVall
  • Madelaine Eisenhauer
  • Ailani Elizondo
  • Ismat Fatima
  • Nina Gaona-Menchavez
  • Tatiana Hernandez
  • Anit Joseph
  • Kindle M. Kreis
  • Ashley Magno
  • Madison Moeller
  • Muskan Momin
  • Sarah Moore
  • Vanessa Morales
  • Alexandra Moreno
  • Deniss Moreno
  • Sydnee Mwakutuya
  • Hunter Nguyen
  • Quan Q. Nguyen
  • Paisley Polk
  • Mireya Reyna
  • Jessica Rivas
  • Ruben D. Ruiz-Barriga
  • Carmen Sandoval
  • Caroline Snell
  • Charles Torres
  • Yaire Torres
  • Cynthia Tran
  • Khanh Doan
  • Gwyneth Udy
  • Tabitha Villarreal
  • Deryn Wagner
  • Melissa Yeverino Esquivel

University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

  • Denise Cerda
  • Jacqueline Elizondo
  • Andrea Escalante
  • Eloisa Garcia
  • Iris Gonzalez
  • Juan Gutierrez
  • Divine Lippolt
  • Maria Lomas
  • Jackie Martinez
  • Jilianna Martinez
  • Patricia Mojica
  • Marina Nacianceno
  • Abigail Ollave
  • Gissel Rodriguez
  • Paola Treviño
  • Aileen Valdez
  • Azaria Vasquez

Trinity University

  • Camila Acosta
  • Claire Bernacki
  • Madison Carolin
  • Victoria Carr
  • Fernando De La Rosa
  • Addie Embry
  • Lindsey Farley
  • Kristen Graham
  • Katrina Lieberman
  • Shealsy Nolasco

# # #


Raising Texas Teachers was created to elevate the teaching profession across Texas through partnerships with higher education, scholarships for aspiring teachers, and a campaign to elevate the status of the teaching profession. The program includes the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers which, to date, has awarded scholarships to more than 300 Texas students. For more information visit,


The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation develops and strengthens school leaders and teachers, engages families in the educational experience, and advances classroom learning with innovative instructional practices to benefit all students. For more information, visit


Connect with us on Facebook: /RaiseYourHandTexas
Connect with us on Twitter: @RYHTexas
Connect with us on Instagram: /RaiseYourHandTexas


Tessa A. Benavides-Cooper, Media Relations Associate
[email protected] or (210) 445-3965

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