Local Student Awarded Bradley Ray Hulse Scholarship

The annual $20,000 Bradley Ray Hulse Memorial Scholarship, presented by Central National Bank and The First National Bank of Central Texas, was awarded to Xiara Berry, a Waco High School senior who plans to attend Huston-Tillotson University to study social work and psychology.

High school students in the Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) program attended their year-end recognition banquet recently at Baylor University’s Hurd Welcome Center, where $75,000 in scholarships were awarded to 11 local students.

The scholarship is given each year to honor the memory of Bradley Ray Hulse. Hulse is the son of FNBCT’s Monte Hulse, the current CEO of the bank’s holding company, FCT Bancshares.

Waco Chamber board Chairman Kary Lalani (also an FNBCT board member) addressed the students at the banquet.

The LEAD program is a business and education partnership that pairs high school students from China Spring, Connally, Harmony School of Innovation, La Vega, Lorena, McGregor, Midway, Rapoport Academy, Robinson, Methodist Children’s Home, University, Waco and West, with business leaders to foster mentoring relationships that educate and expose students to various business fields. By improving the students’ knowledge of higher education and potential career paths, they expand their goals for their future. Through this program, the Greater Waco Chamber hopes to motivate these students to graduate high school and pursue higher education, which in turn ensures greater employability and quality of life.

Since 2010, nearly $700,000 in scholarships have been awarded to students.

The LEAD program launched in 2005 with one mentor and five students. Since beginning, the program boasts a nearly 100% high school graduation rate with graduates moving on to some form of post-secondary education. This year, the program included more than 80 mentors and more than 150 students.