Fifth-graders win free tuition in Black History Month Poster Contest

A fifth-grader from DeLeon Elementary School doesn’t have to wonder how he’ll pay for college after winning the Fifth Grade Black History Month Poster Contest.

DeLeon Elementary School fifth-grader Zachary Blevins stands with University of Houston-Victoria President Tim Hudson, left, and The Victoria College President Thomas Butler next to his winning poster in the Black History Month Poster Contest.

Zachary Blevins received two years of tuition at The Victoria College and two years of tuition at the University of Houston-Victoria for winning first place for his poster about Mae C. Jemison, the first black female astronaut.

The first- through third-place winners in the contest and four honorable mention recipients were announced Friday night during a public reception in the UHV University Center.

About 130 local fifth-graders submitted posters which were judged on creative use of the theme, accurate information, neatness and overall impact. This year’s theme was “AfricanAmericans in Computer Science and Technology.”

Jade Pena from Smith Magnet School.

Second-place winner Jade Pena from Smith Magnet School received one year of free tuition from both UHV and VC for his poster about Ronald McNair, an astronaut who died in 1986 during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Dezirae Garza from Vickers Elementary School.

Third-place winner Dezirae Garza from Vickers Elementary received one free semester of tuition from both schools for her poster about Annie Easley, a computer scientist who worked for NASA’s Lewis Research Center.

Four honorable mention winners received prize bags from UHV and the Cultural Council of Victoria. They were:

  • Taylor Hamilton, Vickers Elementary
  • Samantha Salazar, Smith Magnet School
  • Kelsey Van Pelt, DeLeon Elementary
  • Ayanna Ellis, Chandler Elementary

UHV and the Cultural Council of Victoria sponsored the event with VC and the Black History Month Steering Committee.

All posters submitted to the competition are on public display in the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., during regular business hours in February.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler