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BRIGHT FUTURES — PNG graduate Kayli Hebert to use Koch award to study nursing

Kayli Hebert has one goal — one very large and competitive goal — to work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

“A few years ago, a little girl who was really close to my family passed away from cancer and I’ve always wanted to help kids like that,” Hebert said. “So my goal is to work at St. Jude’s in Memphis — I can’t picture doing anything else.”

Hebert, a graduate of Port Neches-Groves High School, is also a recent recipient of the Fred and Mary Koch Scholarship, awarded to a student who is academically successful and a dependent of a parent or legal guardian who is a full-time employee of Koch Industries.

“It is through my stepdad’s work, a company that Flint Hills Resources is under,” she said. “I know that it was a really big deal to my stepdad.”

Hebert said she is ready to study nursing at Stephen F. Austin University in the fall, where she must complete her pre-nursing schedule before applying for the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing in Nacogdoches.

“The scholarship really takes a lot of the financial burden off,” she said. “SFA is pretty expensive and it gives my parents a little bit of a break, because they work so hard. It really means so much to get this scholarship.”

The scholarship award amount is $2,000 and the award is recurring as long as the student maintains good grades and full-time academic status.

Hebert said she plans to focus on her long-term goals as soon as she starts college.

“It’s a really, really hard process to get into nursing school,” Hebert said. “I’m going to focus and work hard, and at the end of my sophomore year I will be able to apply for nursing school.”

During her time at PNG, Hebert stayed active with several extracurricular activities.

“In high school I was really involved in band,” she said. “I was an officer for theater. I was in color guard and basically anything performance wise — I did it.”

Hebert said with the start of school right around the corner, she is more excited than ever to begin the first step toward her career goals.

“I’m so excited to be starting college soon,” she said. “I really can’t wait to start my future in nursing.”

For more information on the Mary and Koch Scholarship visit http://fmkfoundation.org/scholarships/.