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Doub and Barbay named 2018 Ryman recipients

By Lorenzo Salinas



Two high school seniors are choosing to pursue their college goals through the help of a local scholarship created by Port Arthur firefighters.

Alexis Nicole Doub and Tessa Barbay are the 2018 recipients of the Willie A. Ryman III Scholarship Awards. This is the second year the award has been active and the first year where two students have won the honor.

“It means a lot. I applied for quite a few scholarships. I didn’t hear from a lot of them, but I did hear back from the (Ryman) people and it really made me feel good,” Doub said.

Doub has yet to declare a major, but she is interested in a range of fields from veterinary science to occupational therapy. She plans on taking her prerequisites first while exploring different subjects.

She said the Ryman Scholarship helps her make taking those prerequisites a reality.

“I think it really helps me to be able to go to school…” Doub said. “It helps me a lot to take those extra classes.”

Doub will be attending Blinn College in Bryan. She graduated from Vidor High School.

She is the daughter of Chris and Leslie Phillips. Chris is a captain with the Port Arthur Fire Department.

For Barbay, the scholarship helps her afford the opportunity to pursue nursing study.

“It feels pretty good. It’ll help me out with college and with what I’m going for,” Barbay said. “I’m going for pre-nursing. Hopefully that will translate into going to Lamar for nursing.”

Barbay said the scholarship would help “tremendously” with covering her tuition and books.

“I think it will really help me to reach my goals,” she said.

Barbay graduated from Nederland High School.

She is the daughter of Jimmy and Mary Barbay. Jimmy is a captain with the Port Arthur Fire Department.

Chairman of the Willie A. Ryman III Scholarship Fund Perry Manuel said it was a really good feeling to see these scholarships awarded in Ryman’s name.

Manuel is also a captain with the Port Arthur Fire Department.

“He was a close friend of mine… and this is only for children of Port Arthur firefighters who are graduating seniors,” Manuel said. “This helps them in their first year of college. It’s a really a rewarding part of the job. We’ve always wanted to do something like this.”

The Ryman Scholarship Fund was created in 2016 and named in honor of Ryman, who was a Port Arthur firefighter who tragically lost his life in February 1998.

“Members are real excited. We’re giving out $1,000 each time for somebody who’s not getting academic scholarships or scholarships for football…” Manuel said. “For most kids it will pay for some books.”

Manuel said the response from fellow firefighters and their families has been very positive.

“It’s been good. It’s been really, really good,” Manuel said. “It helps kids. It helps with education. That’s why we did it. It (also) honors Willie and I think it will continue to do so.”