Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship

RIHS Senior July Paw Wins $5,000 Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship

The Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship announced July Paw as the top scholarship winner during a special presentation held on January 30, 2014 at Rock Island High School. After competing with four other finalists, Ms. Paw will receive a $5,000 scholarship for her “Above & Beyond” efforts.  All finalists received a minimum of $500 for the completion of their project.

July’s project, Language Education, is rooted in her experience as a refugee from Thailand four years ago.  She learned English and discovered some of the generational gaps that are created with the younger refuges and the older generations. July explains, “My goals are not to only teach the Karen language to younger Karen children but to also teach them how to be respectful, how education will be important to them, and to know about God.”

Thomas Thoms, Scholarship Chairman, stated, “Ms. Paw’s understanding of cultural and generational differences is beyond her years. To dedicate so much of her time during high school in order to help other young people appreciate their heritage and education is truly going Above and Beyond.”

Four other finalist completed projects of their creation and received $500 scholarships:

Jasmine Babers, Love Girls Magazine Sustainablity Program

Destiney Hearn, One Idea Can Help Millions

Mackenzie Leatherman, Pass for a purpose

Nidia Villalpando, Spanish for Kids

“Each year I am amazed by the efforts our Rock Island High School students put forth for our community.  In watching these individuals unfold into adults we have a bright future,” stated Stuart W. Thoms, Founder.


Tom and Stu Thoms with the 2014 Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship Winners

Tom and Stu Thoms with the 2014 Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship Winners

For more information on the Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship please contact Ted Thoms at 309-269-4041 or visit

Note: The Thoms Family Foundation created the scholarship in 2003 to encourage and reward the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of Rock Island High School (RIHS) students.  Any RIHS student, regardless of race, economic status or academic standing, may submit a proposal the spring of their junior year on an original project of their choosing.  Potential topics for proposals could explore business/entrepreneurship, conservation, technology, community service, or politics.