Grace UMC Awards Scholarships to Three Grayson County Seniors

Burk Quillens Flores

George Hughes Memorial Scholarship brings awareness to racial events in 1930s

Vicki Busby is the co-chair of the George Hughes Memorial Scholarship Committee.

In May, Grace UMC Sherman awarded George Hughes Memorial Scholarships to Grayson County high school seniors for the third year in a row. These students reflected on the impact of the 1930 lynching of George Hughes, a Black laborer, who was accused of assaulting a white woman in Grayson County. Before he could stand trial, a white mob burned down the county courthouse with Hughes inside, lynched his body and destroyed the Black business district on Mulberry Street.

The George Hughes Memorial Scholarship commemorates this tragedy by asking applicants to learn about this story and consider how this history has shaped Grayson County into the present, as well as its future implications for our community. 

Grace UMC raised funds to award two $1,000 scholarships and one $750 scholarship. The scholarship committee considered each applicant’s essay, community service, financial need and commitment to equity.

Congratulations to the 2024 recipients of the George Hughes Memorial Scholarships:

  • Serenity Quillens ($1,000, Denison High School) will be going to the University of Texas. Her dream is to be a writer and she “hopes the words she writes can lead individuals to make the right decisions about themselves and their future.”
  • Pablo Flores ($1,000, Denison High School) plans to attend the University of North Texas for Human Resource Management and work in the DFW area.
  • Justin Burk ($750, Pottsboro High School) plans to pursue an education in electrical technology, hoping to become an electrician and use his skills to help others.         

Grace UMC pastor, Rev. Jessica Wright stated that she is “grateful to serve a church that not only works for racial justice in our community but also supports students toward their educational goals so they can become thoughtful citizens who make the world a better place than they found it, regardless of their career field.” 

The George Hughes Memorial Scholarship was created out of Grace UMC’s work as a part of the North Texas Conference’s Journey Toward Racial Justice. 

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2024