A true shining star of the Pauls Valley Panthers class of '23 is Hal Almen Scholarship recipient, Miss Phoenix Meyer.  I had the opportunity to speak with her prior to the start of the ceremony.  She is very smart, engages well in conversation, exhibits leadership qualities, and is loved by her fellow students.
Here's a little inside info on Pauls Valley, and their senior class.  Pauls Valley doesn't have a top-tier economy compared to many other cities and small towns in Oklahoma.  In fact, over 70% of the school's students qualify for either the free lunch, or the reduced lunch cost program.  That is almost 20% higher than the state average. The class is understandably small with just over 80 graduating seniors this year.  That said, almost half of the senior class maintained a 3.8 or higher GPA, and Pauls Valley HS maintains one of the highest graduation rates in all of Oklahoma.
While it is true that young people making poor choices seem to get all the good press, with the gist from Hal Almen, the wisdom of Jim Moon, and the continued hard work of Jim Hampton, I've seen a small piece of what our future in the hands of people like Phoenix, and her classmates could be.  I must say it's looking pretty good!
Later this year Jim Hampton will announce the date for West OKC Rotary's annual meeting dedicated to Hal Almen Scholarship recipients, and soon after will come his request for Rotarians like you to assist in reading essays submitted by 2024 applicants.  If you want to see the hands your future is in, I hope you will volunteer to help Jim with both activities to whatever level your circumstances allow.  If you do, you will have a first hand look at your future!