Burns Original BBQ selected 10 Houston-area high school graduates for its annual college scholarship initiative. 

A total of $10,000 was awarded to 10 students as part of Burns’ commitment to provide scholarships, free food and host community events yearly. Four years ago, the Burns family started the initiative honoring four recipients with $6,000 and it has grown since then.

“We are looking for character, we are looking for [good] grades, conduct and they have to have a certain amount of community service, 3.0 GPA or higher, and then the essays,” said Cory Crawford CEO of Burns Original BBQ. 

“It was hard back then to get scholarships; this is our way to give back to the community. So when they make it one day, they become…professionals and entrepreneurs who give back.”

More than 90 applicants applied this year. To celebrate this year’s winners, Burns hosted its annual luncheon to recognize the recipient’s achievements with a certificate of scholarship and gift bags with sponsored items.

“I actually felt relieved. Everybody applies but not everybody will get the scholarship, said Nickerra Sam, a Shadow Creek High School graduate who will be attending Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.

“My major is vocal performance with a minor in musical theater. “I didn’t know that vocal performance was actually a degree. I can take what I do and actually apply it to what I want to do after school which is…Broadway.”

Autumn Malone is a Second Baptist High School graduate who will attend Baylor University in the fall.

“I’m majoring in health science studies on the pre-med track. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor,” she said. “I was very shocked. I’ve applied to so many scholarships. I’m excited to put that toward my room and board.”

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...