FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 18, 2022) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation has announced that Kennedale High School’s Kenaj Washington is the recipient of the 36th Annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award. The announcement was made at the Foundation’s annual luncheon at The Fort Worth Club.
The $30,000 scholarship, partially underwritten by Higginbotham and Simmons Bank, is presented each January to an exceptional senior student-athlete in North Texas. 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 interviewed all five finalists last week.
Washington ranks fifth out of 223 students in his graduating class while completing the school’s STEM practicum, and also scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT. He garnered College Board National African American Recognition and College Board Rural & Small Town Recognition for his performance on the PSAT.
In addition, he earned AP Scholar with Distinction and AP Scholar accolades. The recipient of the school’s Principal Award in 2021, he is the senior class president, as well as a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club and UIL Academic Team.
Washington has earned a total of nine varsity letters between powerlifting (four), football (three) and track (two). In powerlifting, he placed eighth at the 2021 UIL Class 4A State Championships. He was the 2021 regional champion and had three top-7 regional finishes.
In football, Washington was a 2021 first-team all-district selection at running back after averaging more than 7 yards per carry as a senior. In addition, he served as team captain and was a member of Leadership Council.
Among his community activities, Washington volunteers reading to children at the Lake Arlington Public Library and also has volunteered with Mission Arlington and Joe Mestesana Ministry. He also works part time as a clerk at QuikTrip.
“We are pleased to award Kenaj Washington the 2021 Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship,” David O’Brien Jr., Chairman of the High School Scholarship Selection Committee, said. “Kenaj is a truly impressive individual, and we are honored to welcome him to the Davey O’Brien Foundation family. Our past recipients have created a strong legacy and we are excited to watch him follow in their footsteps.”
Each of the four other finalists honored at the luncheon receives a $2,500 scholarship. The finalists were Leena Mehendale (The Hockaday School), Luke Moore (Grace Preparatory Academy), Tyler Nguyen (Byron Nelson High School) and Hailey Tucker (Haltom High School).
The High School Scholarship, first awarded in 1986, applies to the college or university of the winner’s choice. Winners over the past 15 years have attended schools including Columbia University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Pomona College, Princeton University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas at San Antonio and Vanderbilt University.
Since its formation in 1977, the Davey O’Brien 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. Washington will be honored at the 45th Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner at the Fort Worth Club on Monday, Feb. 21, alongside National Quarterback Award winner Bryce Young of Alabama.
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.