As the current school year draws to a close and a new one is on the horizon, it seems a good time to mark the 26th anniversary of an extraordinary collaboration between the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and the Arlington Independent School District.
Honored by the MLB Commissioner of Baseball as a premier example of how one of the country’s major league teams has excelled in community service with this program, the current class of the Rangers’ Richard Greene Scholars is emerging as the latest success story.
The program had my name attached to it upon completion of my 10-year tenure as the city’s mayor. I’m obviously honored by that decision, but it is the success of the students chosen every year that deserve the recognition.
This year’s recipients of the $10,000 cash award from the Rangers represents the beginning of how the program is designed each year to encourage community service in the next generation of promising young leaders.
Pictured here are examples of how the 2022-23 scholars have spent their high school senior year learning, through their class of six, how the city works in supporting the lives of all its citizens through local government offices and non-profit organizations.
Such experience includes internship rotations (among others) at city hall, the school administration offices, the Tarrant County Courthouse, the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, work at River Legacy’s Living Science Center, Mission Arlington, and operations of the University of Texas at Arlington and the Texas Rangers.
The scholars also spend time at the Tarrant County Commissioners Court and with the Arlington Parks Department along with other short-term experiences such as meeting with former Navy Seal and Astronaut Christopher Cassidy, CEO Of the National Medal of Honor Museum under construction in the city’s entertainment district.
Kris Hawbaker, a 2002 Greene Scholar and Naval Academy graduate, now a pilot with Southwest Airlines, gave them a tour of the airline’s operations. He also serves with the annual selection committee that interviews and chooses scholars for the upcoming year.
The centerpiece photo is the day they were introduced before a Texas Rangers game at Globe Life Field.
This year’s graduating class includes Brett Hoelscher of Arlington High, Cindy Luu from Bowie High, Emily Buechele at Lamar High, Zoey Jackson from Martin High, Maite Marin of Sam Houston High, and Alexis Chukwunyere from Seguin High.
They have been guided throughout the school year by AISD faculty member Alyce Monroe who meets with the class, when they are not out on internships, at the Dan Dipert Career and Technology Center. She manages their schedules and arranges for special opportunities to meet more local leaders and experience additional community entities doing public service.
Next up in the program are a fresh class of promising young people that will begin their engagement throughout next year as the Rangers, who have already invested $1.5 million dollars in the program, have declared it will continue in perpetuity due to its having exceeded expectations since being launched in 1997.
Chosen after a comprehensive selection process are Gianna Dangelmaier of Arlington High, Kyree Burley at Bowie High, Isabella Reneau from Lamar High, Daniel Tepedino of Martin High, Christopher Montano from Sam Houston High, and Tivana Campbell at Seguin High.
It’s easy to conclude that the success of the program, clearly demonstrated by the 150 alumni now spread across the country in other parts of the world, offers promise that these new scholars are ready to serve and lead.
Richard Greene was Arlington’s mayor from 1987-1997, appointed by President George W. Bush as Regional Administrator to the EPA, and currently teaches in UT Arlington’s graduate program in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs.