Grace UMC Sherman Awards $4,500 In Scholarships To 4

Sarah BassChurch raised funds to honor, remember George Hughes who was lynched in 1930 in Grayson County 

In its inaugural year, Grace UMC Sherman's George Hughes Memorial Scholarship awarded money to four high school seniors who reflected on the 1930 lynching of George Hughes and the Sherman Riot, a history that is not often taught in the county's schools.

Grace UMC raised community funds to award three $1,000 scholarships and one $1,500 scholarship. The scholarship committee considered an applicant's essay, financial need and community service. The honorees:

  • Sophia Mendoza (Gunter HS, going to Trinity University to pursue a Biology/Pre-Med degree) founded Unity group at Gunter to support diversity initiatives, among other jobs and school roles, has volunteered the last year with the Labor and Delivery unit at Wilson N Jones. $1,500 first-place scholarship.
  • Brenna Williams (Bells HS, school valedictorian, going to Texas Tech to study Biology/Pre Med) volunteer work in community including with an animal shelter and working with kids with developmental disabilities. $1,000 scholarship
  • Sarah Bass (Sherman HS, going to Texas Tech to study Pharmacy) community service involvement includes Hughes marker initiative. $1,000 scholarship
  • De'Teaurean Johnson (Denison HS, going to Southeastern State University to major in Education) community service involvement includes volunteers with kids in Denison's mentor program. $1,000 scholarship

"Congratulations to the 2022 recipients of the George Hughes Memorial scholarship," Grace UMC pastor Frank Drenner said. "I am so very proud of these young people, and our church's commitment to live out its vision to Embrace All, Engage with Jesus, Expand the Kingdom." 

In 1930, Hughes, a Black laborer, 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 high school students in Grayson County to submit an essay that reflects on the lynching and how this history has shaped Grayson County into the present. The goal of the scholarship is to prevent this history from being lost.

Learn more about the events of 1930 and support scholarships for 2023 recipients.

Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2022