Five St. Tammany Parish public high school students are the 2012 recipients of scholarships from the Stand Tall Foundation established by Salmen High School graduate and pro basketball star Chris Duhon. Each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship to the four-year college of their choice.
They were introduced to the School Board at its Thursday night meeting by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, who congratulated them and their parents for winning the scholarships.
Recipients of the scholarships for 2012 are Nicole Finger and Collin Jackson, both from Pearl River High School, Caroline Maxwell of Fontainebleau High School, Jonathan Richardson of Northshore High School, and Abrielle Givens of Salmen High School.
This is the third year the scholarships have been awarded. The students are chosen for their outstanding commitment to community service and for having maintained a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
Superintendent Folse thanked Duhon for his dedication to education, commending him for his skills as a professional basketball player as well as his many community activities.
Collin Jackson plans to major in Biology at Vanderbilt University, Nicole Finger plans to attend U.L.L. majoring in Chemical Engineering, and Caroline Maxwell will attend LSU to major in Kinesiology. Jonathan Richardson will attend LSU-Shreveport to major in Chemistry and minor in Sports Medicine, and Abrielle Givens will be attending McNeese University to major in nursing.
Also on July 12, in a resolution passed by the School Board honoring Duhon, the Board stated that the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation believes that every day is an opportunity to contribute to the quality of a child’s life through recreation, education, and welfare. “It is committed to build up children who are the foundation of our communities. The Foundation believes that an educated child has unlimited possibilities,” the Board resolution stated.
The purpose of the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation Scholarship Award is to supplement the costs associated with full-time enrollment at any four-year college or university for graduating high school seniors in the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.
“The generosity of Mr. Duhon and the Stand Tall Foundation serves as an inspiration to our community as a whole that the importance of education and hard work can lead to a successful and rewarding future,” the School Board resolution went on to say.
After graduating from Salmen High, Duhon attended Duke University where he earned top baskeball honors, played for the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks, and presently plays for the Orlando Magic.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated Slidell and his alma mater Salmen High in 2005, he brought in large amounts of relief supplies and began working to rebuild the community. The scholarship program joins several other projects Duhon has initiated over the past six years, including a basketball camp, a Feed the Children program, and a fund-raiser golf tournament.
The Stand Tall Foundation was formed in 1998, and Duhon’s Hurricane Relief Fund became a chapter of the foundation to support his efforts in providing aid to Slidell. He then formed the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation in 2007. Among other things, the organization has worked towards refurbishing the public basketball courts and playgrounds in Slidell and New Orleans East.
More information about the foundation is available at www.chrisduhonstandtall.org.