The memory of a beloved daughter and popular student lives on to provide educational opportunities for future Lone Star College–Tomball students thanks to a scholarship and hopeful endowment started by the Lone Star College–Tomball Veterinary Technology Student Organization (VTSO).
In April 2006, Candace Grace Howard died suddenly as a result of an all-terrain vehicle accident shocking her family, Lone Star College–Tomball classmates and faculty.
“It was devastating to us all,” says Director of the Lone Star College–Tomball Veterinary Technology program Doctor of Veterinary Medicine George W. Younger. “Although she was only in her second semester here at Lone Star College–Tomball she made an incredible impact – one so great that her classmates in the Vet Tech Student Organization raised more than $5,000 to create a memorial scholarship in her honor.”
The scholarship was announced Saturday during the annual Lone Star College–Tomball Veterinary Technology Continuing Education Symposium attended by participating colleges from throughout North America with featured guest speakers including Lone Star College–Tomball Dr. Ray Hawkins, Dr. John August of London University, and Dr. Agnes Ripley of All Pets Laser and Surgical Center in Bryan, Texas.
The Candace Grace Howard scholarship will be designated for first year students which is unique, says Younger.
“We currently do not have any scholarships for our program that focus on first year students and since Candace was in her second semester, we thought it was fitting to offer this opportunity to those just starting out in the program,” he says.
Younger is confident – with the help of contributions from the community, Candace’s former employer H-E-B, and family and friends – that the scholarship will eventually meet Lone Star College–Tomball parent Lone Star College System’s criteria for an endowment, which requires $15,000 in funds.
“Our vet tech students have really gotten the ball rolling with their initial contribution and we are hopeful that those in the community will respond and help us raise the funds we need to honor Candace with an endowment so we can continue to provide scholarship funds to students every spring,” says Younger.
Candace’s parents – William and Karen – joined in the scholarship announcement Saturday and presented a $1,000 check towards the cause last December. Licensed veterinarian and Lone Star College–Tomball vet tech faculty member Dr. Melanie Younger – wife of Dr. George Younger – donated $1,000 last fall to the scholarship fund, as well.
“This scholarship is something we truly did not expect to happen,” says Howard. “But Karen and I feel extremely honored that those from Lone Star College–Tomball were so moved by Candace that they started this scholarship in her memory. Everyone has told us how much they appreciated her and even though they only knew her for a short period of time, they really connected with her.”
One classmate even had asked Candace to be a bridesmaid at her wedding, adds Howard. “To be able to develop such strong bonds with people takes a really special person, and Candace was that person,” he says. “She was a very religious young lady and put Jesus at the top of her list and I think because of that she touched a lot of lives.”
A native of Tomball, Candace attended Tomball High School, was a life-long fast pitch softball player, and was a devoted Aggie, says Howard. An avid horse rider Candace “never met an animal she didn’t like which is why she was drawn to the vet tech program.”
Howard says he is pleased that Candace’s memory will stay alive through this scholarship, and that Candace herself lives on through others.
“She was an organ donor and seven people physically got a second chance at life through her – including a new mother who received Candace’s heart – and now we are hopeful that many new students who otherwise would not have been able to afford a college education will get that chance through her memorial scholarship,” he says.
To donate, please make checks payable to: The Candace Howard Memorial Scholarship-Lone Star College System Foundation; 5000 Research Forest Drive; The Woodlands, Texas; 77381-4399. Payments may also be made in person or sent in care of: Kathleen Diamond; Lone Star College–Tomball Veterinary Technology Program; 30555 Tomball Parkway; Tomball, Texas, 77375. For more information, please call (281) 351-3358.
Lone Star College–Tomball is a member of the Lone Star College System. Lone Star College System comprises Lone Star College–CyFair, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College–Tomball, six satellite centers and The University Center.