HOUSTON, TX (July 26, 2023) – The Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF) announced today the 15th and 16th recipients of its annual $10,000 collegiate scholarships. Aracely Almaguer (East Early College High School, University of Houston) and Noah Willows (Bridgeland High School, Texas A&M University) will each receive $10,000 over the next four years to assist them in their undergraduate studies.
In 2015, the HMF began awarding scholarships to high school cross-country runners who embody leadership, generosity, and a volunteer spirit in their everyday life. The HMF has awarded $260,000 in scholarship funds to students from the Greater Houston Region who excelled in the classroom; volunteered their time at school or in the community; and are attending a local four-year college or university in the state of Texas.
“The heart, talent, and drive that these young athletes exhibit in their endeavors to make their communities a better place to work, live and play is truly admirable and inspiring,” stated HMF Executive Director, Wade Morehead. “Running has made such a positive impact in their lives, and on behalf of the HMF, it is an absolute honor to support these two amazing student-athletes as well as our previous scholarship recipients.”
This year’s HMF scholarship recipients are intent on making a difference as individuals in their communities and as professionals upon graduation. Both standouts recognize that the sport of running has been key to their success.
“Running gave me my life back,” stated Aracely, whose best friends are her two older siblings and she had lost motivation when they left home. “Running and being outdoors with my family changes my perspective on everything. To some, it might appear silly, but nothing compares to the feeling of crossing the finish line, and the feeling of accomplishment you get as you run and see your community cheering you on.”
Aracely added that she is truly appreciative of the financial support from the HMF, especially as a working student who will now have more free time for academics, family, and volunteerism. Like Aracely, Willows also works summers and holidays and is truly grateful for how this scholarship will help him as a biomedical engineering student and cross-country runner.
“This scholarship will allow me to continue to be a collegiate athlete and also focus on my studies as opposed to having to log extra hours during the school year working,” stated Willows, who has endured nagging injuries over the years and hopes to use his degree to help the athletes of the sport he loves. “I want to test the force applied to the foot and I would love to engineer my own running shoe if I can’t join a big shoe brand.”
The HMF is excited about the future of these two student-athletes as they chase down their dreams. For students interested in applying for the HMF scholarship next year, the application process will be open September 1st, 2023, and close March 30th, 2024. More information can be found on the HMF scholarships as well as other HMF initiatives by visiting www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/foundation.
About Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF) – Founded in 2007, the HMF is a community organization that serves the greater Houston area through program management and support of local youth initiatives promoting long-distance running as an element of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. The HMF has awarded $260,000 year-to-date in scholarships for local high school graduates and funded the training for 4,302 students ranging from elementary to high school through the We Run Houston after-school program supporting at-risk youth. Students and program beneficiaries of the HMF participate in the Houston Marathon Weekend of Events in January annually. In addition to the scholarship and after-school running program, the HMF has provided hands-only CPR training in the running community, supported regional trail and park projects, and funded the training for aspiring U.S. elite professional long-distance runners.