FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 11, 2022) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation has revealed the five finalists for the 36th Annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award. The scholarship, underwritten by Higginbotham and Simmons Bank, is presented each January to an exceptional senior student-athlete in North Texas.
This year’s finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Leena Mehendale (The Hockaday School), Luke Moore (Grace Preparatory Academy), Tyler Nguyen (Byron Nelson High School), Hailey Tucker (Haltom High School) and Kenaj Washington (Kennedale High School).
“This group of finalists for the High School Scholarship Award is second to none,” David O’Brien Jr., Chairman of the High School Scholarship Selection Committee, said. “We had an outstanding group of applicants, and are honored to have these five individuals associated with the Davey O’Brien Foundation.”
The recipient of the $30,000 scholarship will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 18. The Foundation will award $2,500 scholarships to each of the four remaining finalists. Recipients of the High School Scholarship Award are chosen on the basis of scholastic achievements, community service, character, leadership and varsity sports participation. As part of the selection process, the committee will interview all five finalists this week.
Since its founding, the Foundation has distributed over $1.2 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field to leadership in life. The winner will be honored at the 45th Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner at the Fort Worth Club on Monday, Feb. 21.
About the Finalists
Leena Mehendale (The Hockaday School)
Leena Mehendale carries a 4.13 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and is an AP Scholar with Honor. An All-Southwest Preparatory Conference performer in soccer, cross country and track, she serves as a team captain in all three sports. In addition, Mehendale is a member of the Sting Dallas soccer club. She is a three-time recipient of the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award. She also is the president of the Hockaday Social Impact Board and the founder of run2learn, a nonprofit organization.
Luke Moore (Grace Preparatory Academy)
Luke Moore owns a 4.65 GPA on a 4.0 scale while securing varsity letters in track, cross country and tennis. He claimed the 800-meter title at the 2021 TAPPS 4A State Track Championships, and has earned first-team all-state honors in track and cross country. In tennis, Moore has twice placed third in doubles at the state tournament and has been named honorable mention all-state. A National Merit Scholar semifinalist, he is a student council member and the founder and executive director of the Knowing Neighbors nonprofit organization.
Tyler Nguyen (Byron Nelson High School)
Tyler Nguyen ranks first among his class of 633 students with a 4.0 grade-point average. A three-year letterman on the varsity soccer team, he has been named first-team All-District 5-6A and was district Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2020. Nguyen was awarded the Northwest Independent School District’s Board of Trustees Award in 2021. An AP Scholar with Distinction, he has claimed the President’s Silver Volunteer Award. He also is a founding member of the school’s Asian American Club.
Hailey Tucker (Haltom High School)
Hailey Tucker is listed first among 578 students with a 106.529 GPA on a weighted 100-point scale. She is a four-year varsity letterwinner in volleyball and track, and has earned three letters in wrestling. In volleyball, she was Academic All-State in 2021, and nabbed first-team all-district and academic all-district honors all four years. In wrestling, she placed third at the 2021 UIL Class 6A State Meet. A National Merit Commended Scholar, she is the senior class president and the National Honor Society treasurer.
Kenaj Washington (Kennedale High School)
Kenaj Washington ranks fifth out of 223 students with a 4.43 GPA on a 5.0 scale. He has earned multiple varsity letters in powerlifting, football and track. He placed eighth at the 2021 UIL Class 4A State Championships in powerlifting after finishing as the regional champion. Washington was an all-district selection in football as a senior while also serving as a team captain and member of Leadership Council. An AP Scholar with Distinction and recipient of the Principal Award, he is the senior class president.
About the Davey O’Brien Foundation
The Davey O’Brien Foundation was founded in 1977 to honor and remember the strong character and leadership of football great, Davey O’Brien. Widely known for its Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, the Foundation recognizes champions on and off the field through awards programs encouraging academic and career success. The Foundation has given away more than $1.2 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field to leadership in life. For more information, visit www.DaveyOBrien.org.
Employee owned and customer inspired, Higginbotham is a single source solution for insurance, financial and HR services. The firm was established in 1948 and ranks by revenue as the nation’s 20th largest independent insurance firm. Serving thousands of businesses and individuals through locations across 10 states, Higginbotham’s approach to finding insurance, employee benefit and risk management solutions is more individual and less institutional. By understanding customer priorities, eliminating inefficiencies and committing to transparency, Higginbotham is a place that leads with values so value leads. Visit higginbotham.com for more information.
About Simmons Bank
Simmons Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ: SFNC), a Mid-South based financial holding company. Simmons Bank operates over 200 branches in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Founded in 1903, Simmons Bank offers comprehensive financial solutions delivered with a client-centric approach. Simmons Bank was named to Forbes magazine’s list of “World’s Best Banks” for the second consecutive year and ranked among the top 30 banks in Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Banks” for 2021. Additional information about Simmons Bank can be found on our website at simmonsbank.com, by following @Simmons_Bank on Twitter or by visiting our newsroom.