Ryman Memorial Scholarships go to Makayla Pirtle, Damian Perez & Shelly Carroll

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Shelley Caroll

Three young adults with ties to the Port Arthur Fire Department are the recipients each of $1,000 scholarships.

The Willie A. Ryman III Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Makayla Pirtle, Damian Perez and Shelly Carroll.

Carroll, a graduate of Hamshire-Fannett High School, is the daughter of Joe and Felicia Pirtle. She plans to attend Lamar University and work toward a degree in interdisciplinary studies.

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“This scholarship is a huge honor to me because my dad always thought so highly of him,” Carroll said of Ryman. “He was always such a hard worker and uplifting to others.”

She is proud to be a recipient of the scholarship in memory of Ryman and the standards he upheld.

Perez, a graduate of Nederland High School, is the son of Mike Perez and Cindy Perez. He plans to attend Lamar University and major in computer science.

“The scholarship means a lot to me. My father was a firefighter,” Perez said.

The scholarship will be helpful purchasing books and supplies as he enters college, he said.

Pirtle is the daughter of Joe Pirtle and Misty Castille and a graduate of Hamshire-Fannett High School. She plans to attend Sam Houston State University.

To be considered for the scholarship the students must either be the children or stepchildren of International Association of Fire Fighters No. 397 Port Arthur Firefighters, shown academic excellence at their respective schools and be a graduating senior or beginning their first year in college.

“We are so proud of these students and wish only the best for them in their future endeavors,” said Port Arthur Fire Capt. Perry Manuel, who is chairman of the WAR (Willie A. Ryman) III Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship is named after Willie A. Ryman III, a firefighter who died saving his nieces from an attacker in 1998.