2013 Scholarship Finalists
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2013 Scholarship Finalists

Vanessa Rathway
Tomball High School

Tomball High School guidance counselor Connie Huff calls Vanessa Rathway “an amazing young woman and a self-starter.” The more you read Huff’s letter of recommendation to The OU Club of Houston scholarship commmittee, the more you realize how fortunate all of Sooner Nation will be to have Vanessa as one of its own.

First impressions of Vanessa are that she is a polite and unassuming young woman, but there’s so much more to her story and her life. She’s tenacious in her commitment to academics and community outreach work. She graduated in the top 40 of her class of 714 and served as secretary for her school’s Health Occupations club and volunteer coordinator for the Mu Alpha Theta math honors society.

Much of her volunteer time has been spent at Tomball-area medical facilities. Coupled with a course load emphasizing medical studies, Vanessa is already a certified pharmacy technician. She will major in pharmacy at OU.

“My certification will enable me to work my way through college and gain valuable knowledge about the career I intend to pursue,” Vanessa says. “Once I have my degree, I would like to open up my own community pharmacy back home in Tomball.”

There’s another side to Vanessa’s story, according to her high school counselor.

“Tragedy struck early in Vanessa’s life with the death of her father,” Connie Huff writes. “She was raised in a single parent home on a very limited income.”

On top of that, Vanessa’s mother Karina recently underwent a double mastectomy to treat breast cancer and also suffers from Myasthenia Gravis.

No doubt Vanessa will be missed at home when she heads off to college. But it’s also easy to imagine the great pride her mother, family and friends will feel as she continues to blossom into the remarkable individual it seems certain she is destined to become at the University of Oklahoma. 



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