It’s Thursday night and Brooklyn Arreola is waiting by her phone. She’s expecting an important phone call. Her phone rings at exactly 8 p.m. That’s when she’s suppose to receive her important call but the caller ID states its from North Carolina.
“Do I answer it?” she thought. “There are so many spam risks out there and I’m waiting on an important phone call.”
She answered her phone and it turned out to be the important call. On the other line was JF Maddox Foundation Board Member Catherine Maddox, who called Brooklyn to tell her she was named the 2021 Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship.
“It was amazing!” Brooklyn said of the conversation. “She said that is the best phone call she gets to make and I also received the best phone call ever. I woke up (Friday) morning in just complete excitement. It’s just so surreal.”
Brooklyn is a senior at Lovington High School this fall. She is the daughter of Robert and Krystie Arreola and is interested in pursuing a dentistry degree at Abilene Christian University.
“Abilene Christian University is everything that I look for in a college,” Brooklyn said. “They have one of the best pre-health programs in the nation. So much has been put into the school and everyone has noticed the great bounds they are making in research. I would love to be a part of that. ACU also offers chapel each morning and to me there is nothing more important that worshipping our Creator with peers who you are in college with.”
Brooklyn admitted her desire to be a dentist started when she was much younger. She said she was named the her class dentist in elementary school.
“I reminded all of my little classmates to brush their teeth and stay away from cavities,” Brooklyn said with a laugh. “That just carried on until now.”
An independent selection committee reviewed 26 comprehensive applications submitted to the Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship Program from throughout Lea County, and considered each applicant’s academic achievements, extracurricular activities and written essays. From this applicant pool, the selection committee selected 15 semifinalists for personal interviews. From those semifinalists, the selection committee selected five finalists: Arreola, Carla Gavilan of Eunice, Avree Arnold and Olivia Bova, both of Hobbs and Ranley Krueger, of Tatum.
With the award of the Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship, Brooklyn will be able to pursue an undergraduate degree from a college or university of her choice in the continental United States. The Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship covers all costs of tuition, fees, textbooks and room and board for her four-year undergraduate education.
The remaining four finalists are all Maddox Scholars and will receive scholarships of $20,000 each, $5,000 per year for four years of undergraduate study, which also may be utilized at any public or private college or university in the continental United States. Additionally, several universities have entered into agreements with the Foundation to match the Maddox Scholarship award with additional scholarships based on their selection as a Maddox Scholar. Those universities include University of the Southwest, Texas Tech University, University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, McMurry University, Hardin-Simmons University, Texas Christian University and Rice University.
This year, the Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship Program is celebrating its 26th anniversary. During the course of the Scholarship Program’s history, the Foundation has provided Lea County high school graduates with more than $4 million in college scholarships. The five Maddox Scholars selected this year join more than 100 Maddox Scholars who have received scholarships since the first class of scholars was selected in 1996.
Brooklyn said winning the scholarship is a huge relief.
“I’m so grateful to go into my senior year knowing this is already been an accomplishment,” Brooklyn said. “All of the credit for this goes to the Maddox Foundation. They are doing amazing things for the community and for Lea County and I am so grateful to be a recipient of their kindness.”
The Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship is named in honor of Jack Maddox, who, along with his wife, Mabel, established the JF Maddox Foundation in 1963 and funded the Foundation from their estates. Since then, the JF Maddox Foundation has funded over $260 million in grants. Some of the recent projects include $6.3 million toward the construction of a new hospital in Hobbs, $10 million toward a career technical education high school, and $27.5 million to the CORE facility.