2020 scholarship winners

Meet Our 2020 Team Pelican Scholarship Winners

Pelican is thrilled to continue to honor the young minds of tomorrow through its Team Pelican Scholarship Award program. Since 2008, this program has awarded the bright, service-driven high school graduates in the communities we serve by helping them with their college expenses.

This year, 90 high school students across the state of Louisiana sent in applications, and a volunteer committee made up of Pelican team members carefully selected each winner.

Check out our 2020 Team Pelican Scholarship Award winners’ outstanding academic achievements, selfless community service efforts, and the inspirational goals they’ve set for themselves:  

Ascension Parish – Madison Hebert

Madison is a graduate of Ascension Christian High School where she served as a member of her school’s Beta Club and National Honor Society. She made the Principal’s List in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and was a member of ACHS’s tennis and cheerleading teams.

She helped conduct local food drives and spent time volunteering for foster kids in the Ascension Parish community.

Her goal in life is to one day open her own holistic health office complete with a coffee shop, combining her passions for women’s health and coffee.

Caddo Parish – Charity Cash

Charity graduated from Captain Shreve High School, where she was a member of the National English Honor Society, Beta Club, and Theater Performance team.

She was a recipient of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards District Gold Key and is a Captain Shreve High School Distinguished Scholar.

She aspires to work in psychology and said if she could accomplish one thing in life, it would be to personally change someone’s life so that they can walk in love and forgiveness.

Calcasieu Parish – Patrick Stevens

Patrick is a graduate of LaGrange High School where he was a member of his school’s baseball and bowling teams. He was also Band Captain for two years and was President of the school’s Spanish Club.

He has spent time volunteering with the Link Crew, a student leadership program that welcomes and assists incoming freshmen throughout the first year of their high school experience.

He said if he could accomplish one thing in life, it would be to actively provide financial support to all of his family and to be a well-rounded family man.

East Baton Rouge Parish – Julie Odom

Julie graduated from Zachary High School where she was a three-time honoree of the International Thespian Society and made the Principal’s List three years in a row.

She was a member of the school’s Drama Club, Vice President of the National Honor Society in 2019 and 2020, and served as a mentor for incoming freshmen.

Her community service efforts include helping at her school’s Special Olympics and the Cajun Classic Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, as well as serving as a project leader at the Knock Knock Children’s Museum.

She aspires to become a mental health counselor and dreams to own a private counseling center to bring mental wellness to her community.

East Feliciana Parish – Lakeira Williams

Lakeira is a graduate of East Feliciana High School and has been a member of the Pelican family for 17 years!

She was a member and captain of her school’s cheer squad and track team, and she participated in school organizations such as 4-H Club and the National Society for Black Engineers.

She has spent much of her time volunteering on her school’s advisory board, leading trainings at youth cheer camps, and officiating youth track competitions.

If she could accomplish one thing in life, it would be to graduate college with a 4.0 GPA, proving that it doesn’t matter where you come from—anything is possible.

Lafayette Parish – Brice Arceneaux

Brice is a graduate of Catholic High School of New Iberia where he served as a member of the National Beta Club and National Honor Society. He also won the subject medal in Civics and Spanish, which is awarded to the student with the highest average in the course.

He was a leader of his school’s retreat team and a member of his school’s soccer and track teams.

He has spent time in his community volunteering at a food pantry and a Vacation Bible School camp. He also led several school retreats throughout his high school career.

If he could accomplish one thing in life, he said it would be to make the world a better place so that everyone could have a chance to experience the goodness that life has to offer.

Livingston Parish – Ella Otken

Ella graduated from Denham Springs High School where she was President of Key Club for three years and leader of the Advanced Placement Society for two years.

She was invited to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum at George Mason University in medicine and placed first in the state for her audio essay in the VFW Voice of Democracy scholarship program.

In addition to winning the scholarship for her parish, Ella was awarded the Heart for Service Award for displaying first-class service and dedication in her community and the Pelican Perseverance Award for exemplifying strength and determination to overcome life’s challenges.

She spent hundreds of hours volunteering in her community at various organizations such as Ochsner Hospital’s Cancer Center and the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council. Ella also overcame great adversity after her house, school, and hometown were destroyed as a result of the Flood of 2016.

She aspires to study Biological Sciences and said if she could accomplish one thing in life, it would be to cure cancer.

Livingston Parish (Internal) – Gabrielle Mejia

Gabrielle is a graduate of Denham Springs High School and has been a member of Pelican for over 10 years!

She has been a member of the Livingston Parish Children’s Choir since 2015, and served as the Vice President of the Library Club in 2019 and 2020.

She made the A/B honor roll in 2019 and sang in the choir for the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Denham Springs.

She dreams of traveling the world to experience foreign cultures and landmarks.

Ouachita Parish – Emily Westerberg

Emily graduated from Ouachita Parish High School where she was a member of Spanish Club for two years. She was also a dancer with the Louisiana Delta Ballet Company.

She made the Principal’s List in four consecutive years and served as a member of the National Honor Society from 2018 to 2020.

Her volunteer efforts include gathering shoeboxes for children overseas and volunteering at several Vacation Bible School programs in her community.

She said if she could accomplish one thing in life, it would be to make a positive, lasting impact on young children.

Rapides Parish – Olivia Hunter

Olivia is a graduate of Alexandria Senior High School where she was a member of the Environmental Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the National Honor Society.

She made the Principal’s “All A” Honor List four years in a row and was a rally participant in English 1, French 1, and Intro to Business Computer Applications.

She has spent time helping children with special needs as a Buddy Camp Counselor, spent time each week with local elementary students through the Together Tuesday initiative, and tutored fellow students at her school.

The biggest goal she hopes to achieve is to maintain a lifetime of happiness by continuing to give back to her community.

St. Landry Parish – Claire Pitre

Claire is a graduate of Ville Platte High School and has been with the Pelican family for 15 years!

She was a nominee for the 2019/2020 Ville Platte High School Student of the Year and won the Catholic Youth Leadership Award for Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Council. She was also a member of Senior Beta Club, the National Honor Society, and her school’s swimming team.

Her community service efforts include volunteering in games for Miles Perret Cancer Services and helping with Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church’s Vacation Bible Camp.

She aspires to have a career in optometry and has always dreamed of doing something that will allow her to help others.

Tangipahoa Parish – Elisa Castillion

Elisa is a graduate of Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies and has been a member of Pelican for 17 years!

She won the Catholic Parish Youth Leadership Award in 2019, has made the Principal’s Honor Roll from 2016 to 2020, and placed fourth as a soloist in the American All-Star Dance Competition in 2019.

She spent much of her time volunteering as camp counselor at Camp Innovation and Girard Playground, and as a tutor with the National Honor Society.

She said if she could accomplish one thing in life, it would be to make her parents proud by spreading kindness and becoming a pediatrician.

Out of State – Bryson Colwart

Bryson graduated from Allatoona High School in Acworth, Georgia, where he was the top overall scorer on the school’s Junior Varsity Math Team in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

He served as the Vice President for his school’s Key Club in 2019 and 2020 and made the Academic Honor Roll from 2016 to 2020.

His community service efforts include tutoring elementary school students in math, donating pencils to children in needs as part of the “Pencil Project,” and doing yard work for the “Give Back, Get Back” program.

He aspires to study civil engineering and said if he could accomplish one thing in life, it would be to live a life of no regrets and happiness.

Want to increase your chances of winning scholarships?
Use these five steps to get yourself organized and ready to win some money in college scholarships!

If you or someone you know plans to graduate high school in 2021, visit pelicanstatecu.com/scholarship for updates and announcements on next year’s Team Pelican Scholarship Award program.

Congratulations to all of our Team Pelican Scholarship winners!