A Tomball High School graduate is one of just 75 students nationwide to win a $4,000 scholarship from the Siemens Foundation.
Kyle Goncalves, who just graduated seventh on his class of nearly 700 students, was chosen as a recipient of the Siemens Merit Scholarship for 2013. The scholarship is awarded to children of Siemens employees that demonstrate academic excellence, high PSAT scores and leadership.
"It's definitely an honor," Goncalves said. "High school is one of those things where you don't feel a lot of gratification until it's all over and it's nice to know my hard work has paid off."
Goncalves will be attending the University of Texas in Austin, where he plans to major in petroleum engineering.
"I just fell in love with Austin," he said. "I've always been a math and science person and talking to friends and family in the field it seemed interesting. It will give me an opportunity to travel and there is job security in the field."
Goncalves, whose father is a senior project manager at Siemens, said his parents guided him towards academic success.
"My parents have always held me to a high standard and have taught me not to settle," he said. "Both of them are first generation college students and they recognize the importance of education."
Goncalves participated in numerous activities while at Tomball High, including band, soccer, Mu Alpha Theta and was an officer in the National Honor Society – all while holding down a job at HEB.
"My high school experience allowed me to become well-rounded and I am proud of that," he said. "I never really was bogged down by school and being able to stay on task in numerous ways will help me later on."
He also credits several Tomball teachers for helping him along the way.
"Mrs. Singer. She has a petroleum engineering degree and helped me understand a lot about the field," he said. "(THS band director) Mr. Downey
was great. I've been in his band for four years and he taught me a lot of life lessons."
He also credits a teacher that shaped many people in the community, young and older alike – Mary Roach.
"She was my history teacher during my sophomore year," he said. "She taught me a lot about having faith. I have so much respect for that woman."
The scholarship will be awarded to Goncalves in $1,000 increments every year, for four years and was awarded to only 75 students in 21 states.