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T.W. Lewis Foundation awards scholarships

The T.W. Lewis Foundation and Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University have established a partnership to help honors students develop strong leadership skills. Together they are creating specialized classes to enhance the honors curriculum and better prepare students for their chosen careers. The focused classes are under development and will be available beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year. The T.W. Lewis Foundation began supporting Barrett through its scholarship program, which awards academic scholarships to Maricopa County high school seniors who are planning to attend Barrett. The Honors College currently has 25 T.W. Lewis Foundation Scholars within its program.

T.W. Lewis Foundation is the only partnership of its kind within Barrett. The importance the foundation places on leadership, career development and community involvement complement the vision of the Honors College. The financial support provided by T.W. Lewis Foundation is also essential for most students within the program, as up to 95 percent of Barrett students receive merit-based aid while 40 percent have need-based financial support in addition to their merit-based assistance.

The T.W. Lewis Foundation Scholarship Program began in 2002 and, to-date, has committed more than $2.6 million helping 130 Maricopa County high school seniors. Each of those scholars has received a $20,000 four year academic scholarship. Focused specifically to help the local students, the program has narrowed its efforts since it began 13 years ago, and is now solely supporting students that are attending Barrett. By having all the students at one school, it allows the scholarship to offer more things to students like special classes, conferences and career counseling.

“The purpose of the T.W. Lewis Foundation Scholarship Program is to provide high potential student leaders with self-awareness tools, career counseling, learning opportunities and financial aid so they can reach their potential and have a positive impact on the Valley and beyond,” says Tom Lewis, owner and CEO of T.W. Lewis Company and founder, with his wife Jan, of the T.W. Lewis Foundation. “Through the scholarship program and our partnership with Barrett, we are identifying tomorrow’s leaders now, then helping to prepare them for a life of achievement and service.”

The class of 2014 T.W. Lewis Scholars are from all areas of the Valley, reaching from Gilbert to Peoria. Applications are accepted each spring with recipients selected based upon leadership qualities, entrepreneurial potential, strong personal character, academic achievement and financial need. The 2014 recipients are:

• Ruth Hicks, Higley High School
• Carolina Loera, Marcos de Niza High School
• Crystal Loza, Metro Tech High School
• Thomas Murphy, Mesquite High School
• Malachi Payne, Marcos de Niza High School
• Troy Penny, Centennial High School
• Audrie Pirkl, Bourgade Catholic High School
• Kaitlyn Selman, Desert Vista High School
• Shimoli Shah, Corona Del Sol High School
• Spencer Wilhelm, Perry High School

Barrett is a unique experience for 5,000 students at ASU. While the university has an enrollment of more than 75,000 students, Barrett delivers a small, intellectual environment by providing its own housing, as well as a place to dine and study. In addition, it offers its students enriched academic courses and events. The new honors courses developed through the partnership will explore and enhance personal and professional development and include themed topics like: Life Lessons; Values, Character and Leadership; Decision Making and Risk Taking; and Success.

“It is meaningful for us to work with an organization like the T.W. Lewis Foundation that shares a common goal of cultivating young leaders to positively impact the community,” says Lexi Killoren, Director of Development at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. “At Barrett, we often say this is where ability meets opportunity. Because of the time and financial resources Tom and Jan Lewis have invested in our program, our gifted students are able to garner much more than academic discipline during their time with us. They gain a deeper appreciation by interacting with corporate and
community leaders, delving into career opportunities and giving back to the community.”