Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on H-E-B: Hurst students honored for determination, character, improvement

The Red Raider Reward luncheon celebrated a 10-year milestone last week when 18 Hurst Junior High students were honored at the 10th anniversary of the event hosted by St. Philip Presbyterian Church.
The Red Raider Reward luncheon celebrated a 10-year milestone last week when 18 Hurst Junior High students were honored at the 10th anniversary of the event hosted by St. Philip Presbyterian Church. Courtesy photo

The Red Raider Reward luncheon celebrated a 10-year milestone last week when 18 Hurst Junior High students were honored at the 10th anniversary of the event hosted by St. Philip Presbyterian Church. Attending the big celebration at Abuelo’s Restaurant were church and school leaders who joined an appreciative audience as each student was introduced and presented with mementos of the special occasion.

The youth honorees were selected by their teachers from more than 1,000 pupils attending Hurst Junior High School. They are nominated by teachers based on determination, good character, being exceptionally helpful to other kids and showing marked improvement in grades and attitude during the school term.

“By hosting the luncheon and attracting community awareness, we hope to further emphasize to the students and their families how really cool their behavior is,” said Susan Riley, a member of the church Mission Committee and chairwoman of the luncheon.

“The community needs to hear some good news about culturally diverse kids who don't have it all and who don't feel entitled — students who are making it anyway. Recognizing their achievements could make a positive difference in their lives and also in the way they are seen by the general population of this area,” Riley continued.

Hurst Junior High Principal Lesli Guajardo read each student’s letter of recommendation and presented the letter and a certificate to the teens. Teacher of the Year A.J. Hatcher was a special guest along with Pastor Greg Garis and Associate Pastor Alissa King and Hurst Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Welton.

The church is an Adopt-A-School partner for Hurst Junior High, West Hurst Elementary and more recently Bell High School and hopes to begin a similar luncheon with West Hurst and Bell in the near future. “St. Philip Presbyterian Church wants to become more of a part of our immediate neighborhood. We want to identify the opportunities to make it better,” said Riley.

Students honored were Jacob Angelopoulos, Alisa Albert, Raymond Cervantes, Charles Claibourne, Skylin Cotton, Marissa Dilluvio, Noraveyda Kaswatuka, Anna Knuckles, Ryan Liomaiava, Brook McGuire, Bedi Ngalula, Ayat Omar, Michael Pham, Alexis Sawyer, Alexis Schieberl, Samson Sladek, Magali Tierrablanca and Dakota Vandergriff.

To learn more about the program, contact Riley at or call the church at 817- 282-9181.

Onstage in Bedford presents The Boys Next Door and special art display

Continuing the celebration of its 30th season, a new play opened last week at Onstage in Bedford and will run each weekend through May 31. The Boys Next Door, written by Tom Griffin in the 1980s, is set in a New England group home where four mentally handicapped men live with a young social worker looking out for them.

“They go about their lives creating some hysterical and heartwarming moments that will make audiences laugh and maybe even cry a little,” said Artistic Director Michael Winters. “This is one of the strongest shows we have had on our stage, and I could not be more excited for audiences to fall in love with these characters as I have.”

The Boys Next Door is the perfect show to have in our lineup as Onstage in Bedford celebrates 30 years of creating theatrical magic in the Mid-Cities.”

A special partner for the show is Evergreen Life Services, a company that provides training and life skills for people with disabilities. “This amazing organization has their own art studio, and we went to them with the various themes of the show and asked them to create their vision of these themes in art,” said Winters. “The results will be on display in the lobby during the run of the show.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $19.99 for adults and $14.99 for seniors, students and Bedford residents. Groups of 10 or more are admitted for $12.99.

Purchase tickets online at or email or leave a message at 817-354-6444. Tickets also available at the door if seats are available. The theater is at Bedford Boys Ranch, 2819 Forest Ridge Drive.

Does your child have an entrepreneurial spirit?

Attention parents of junior high and high school students. If you believe your child might be interested in someday starting his or her own business and shows signs of a budding entrepreneur, then the parent information meeting Thursday will be helpful to you in guiding your child’s education.

The 7 p.m. meeting at Gene A. Buinger Career and Technical Education Academy, 1849 E. Central Drive in Bedford, will give you the 411 on the Young Entrepreneur Academy, which just successfully completed its first year with seven students graduating from the program.

The nine-month program — jointly presented by the H-E-B Chamber of Commerce and the H-E-B school district — takes students in grades 7-12 through the process of launching their very own businesses, including valuable access to attorneys, accountants, business mentors, graphic designers and an audience with investors. Students also have the opportunity to win college scholarships.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The new class is scheduled to begin Oct. 19 and will end in May 2016. Classes meet from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays, with occasional special events on other evenings and occasional Saturdays.

Business leaders and interested community volunteers should contact YEA! Program Manager Alexandra Taylor at or 817-283-1521 to learn how to become involved. Parents and students can learn more at

Final Twilight Thursday Taste & Tunes features Derek Anthony

Thursday is the last of the Taste & Tunes events from 6 to 9 p.m. on the lawn of Old Bedford School. Headline entertainment is contemporary country artist Derek Anthony, whose memorable music has earned him a huge fan base and a reputation for songs that are fun and grab the emotions of his audiences.

“There will be art vendors, a bounce house, a hay ride, food with beer and wine for sale and so much more,” said Natalie Foster, city spokeswoman. “Make sure to check out the Centennial Photo Gallery inside the Old Bedford School. This is to help celebrate the upcoming [Old Bedford School] 100-year birthday celebration in September.”

Tailgating and leashed pets are welcome, and audiences are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, friends and family for the free event.

Details at or call Foster at 817-952-2126.

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