Like Father, Like Daughter, Like KWA

 KWA Awards First-Ever Academic Scholarship to KWA-Grown High School Graduate

At KWA, we take notice when our employees’ work ethic consistently reflects our company’s core values. And because we’re all family, we also notice when one of our own “extended family members” exemplifies the KWA values within his/her own personal endeavors.

During our company’s Rangers game family outing in summer 2016, Brian Webster got the chance to visit with Maria Guevara, the daughter of Leo Guevara, who has been a carpenter at KWA for 10 years. What started out with a teenager giving our company president a quick lesson in social media ended up being a defining moment for Maria, Leo, Brian and our KWA family.

“Maria was showing me how to use Snap Chat, and we started talking about where she went to high school and what she was planning on doing after graduation,” said Brian. “I was astounded with everything that she had accomplished up to that point. She was on track to graduate with not only a high school diploma, but also with over 60 hours of college credit and an associate’s degree.”

Brian quickly realized that like Leo, who’s work ethic earned him one of the first-ever KWA Core Awards back in 2012, Maria is driven to give 110 percent to achieve her educational and future career goals. Brian was so impressed with Maria’s dedication to her fast-paced and rigorous education timeline that he promised her a KWA academic scholarship to help her obtain her bachelor’s degree.

Maria’s scholarship begins this fall, as she just graduated from high school … and junior college … this past May. Yes, you read that right! Maria was enrolled in a dual credit program that allowed her to simultaneously take college courses in addition to her high school curriculum. Now, with a high school diploma from Quinlan Ford High School in Quinlan, Texas, and an associate’s degree from Paris Junior College in Greenville, Texas, she will begin her junior year this fall at Texas A&M Commerce in Commerce, Texas. She plans to transfer to Texas A&M University in College Station for her senior year, graduating in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in allied health.

Working with the Family

With those two graduations behind her, Maria decided to spend this summer interning at KWA, as a way to not only gain some hands-on business experience, but also as a way to “return the support” that KWA is giving her. Maria works in our main office, supporting Jessica Medlin and Tasha Keene with daily office administration tasks. She says her internship with KWA exceeded her expectations.

“It’s been great,” said Maria. “I didn’t expect to get to attend meetings and help plan company events. I’ve learned a lot this summer, like how to communicate better with people. I love to see how everyone supports each other here and works like a family to get everything done.”

While interning at KWA, Maria also completed a summer college course. Impressed with Maria’s ability to juggle her work and class schedules with mature professionalism, Jessica says that Maria fits perfectly within the KWA family and is a huge asset to everyone in the office.

“Maria has been such a joy to have in the office,” said Jessica. “She is so sharp and tremendously gifted. There isn’t a task we’ve given her that she wasn’t completely onboard with tackling. Sometimes it’s hard to believe she’s only 18 because she is so incredibly driven.”

Back to School

As Maria prepares for her fall courses, she says she is extremely grateful that the KWA scholarship will afford her the opportunity to attend college full time, without needing to juggle a part-time job. Her dad, Leo, echoes her gratitude to KWA.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity that KWA has given my daughter this summer, as well as helping her in her college education,” said Leo. “I have always reminded her that what she has accomplished these past years has never been out of luck, but out of her pure dedication and hard work. I believe everything she has done for the company these past months has been a great experience for her and will help her in the future.”

Maria will be the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Maria, your KWA family wishes you all the best, and we can’t wait to hear about your journey. Come visit us often!