For DonorsFor Applicants

William J. Thomas Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Oct 31, 2024
Winners Announced
Dec 15, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Desired Career Field:
Education Level:
High school junior or senior

The world needs new teachers who are truly passionate about education and changing the system. 

William John Thomas was one such educator, working in business for thirty years before finally getting his college degree at the age of forty-seven so he could pursue a career in teaching. He was the first in his family to graduate from both high school and college. He was a triple major in education, special education, and history, working as a special education teacher and social studies teacher for twenty years. During his education career, he created new curriculum programs for the district for both special education and middle school social studies. William spent his entire teaching career at Progreso ISD and the Red Ant community was near and dear to his heart. Even after retiring, William continued to volunteer his time to the school, the teachers, and the students.

William described the Progeso ISD community as follows: “The students and families of Progreso are wonderful people. The people get wrapped up in trying to provide for themselves and family. Sometimes, for students, just going to school can become a burden on the family survival. Every student is deserving of an education that offers them the skills and knowledge to succeed.”

Throughout his life, William was successful in various careers, but none could compare with the joy and satisfaction he obtained from being a teacher. He had a passion for life, and took great pleasure in assisting, encouraging, and watching others succeed. He loved to pay-it-forward by mentoring new and struggling teachers and his efforts will forever live on through his students and his student-teachers.

This scholarship seeks to honor the incredible life of William J. Thomas by supporting students who share his passion for education. 

Any high school junior or senior in Texas who is planning to attend college may apply for this scholarship opportunity. Students do not have to be majoring in education to be eligible for this scholarship, but should be pursuing the career path of an educator.

To apply, tell us about a time when an educator made a difference in your life, an event that motivated you to become an educator, what adversity you have overcome, and how these experiences have strengthened your character.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Passion
Published June 25, 2024
Essay Topic

Describe a time when an educator positively impacted your life. Describe an event or circumstance that motivated you to want to become an educator. What adversity have you overcome so far and how has this strengthened your character?

400–600 words


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Oct 31, 2024. Winners will be announced on Dec 15, 2024.