Robert E. Lee's Venisha Harmon awarded Earl Campbell Scholarship

Published on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 17:41 - Written by PHIL HICKS,

The Tyler Rose welcomed another member to the Campbell family on Wednesday.

Earl Campbell presented Venisha Harmon, a Robert E. Lee High School senior, with the third annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose High School Scholarship Award during a luncheon in The Rose Room at Willow Brook Country Club.

Campbell and his son, Christian Campbell, presented the scholarship to Harmon, welcoming her to his family.

“Venisha is a very nice young lady and her résumé speaks for itself,” The 1977 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas said. “I’m happy the city of Tyler, the Chamber of Commerce and the mayor (Martin Heines) get together and give the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award every year and raise funds for this scholarship. … The people of Tyler and East Texas get to see where the scholarships go to outstanding young people like Miss Venisha.”

Harmon was joined by her grandmother Lillie Harmon, counselor Shana Steele and principal Daniel Crawford at the luncheon.

“It is such a wonderful blessing to be able to receive this prestigious award,” said Harmon, a member of the REL powerlifting team. “I am thankful for the Earl Campbell Scholarship Committee, Mr. Campbell himself, my family for pushing me and everyone who played a major part in helping me receive this scholarship. I am so thankful and grateful.”

Harmon was team captain her senior year and was a state qualifier in powerlifting her sophomore and junior seasons. She was involved in the International Baccalaureate program all four years of high school. She also participated in the Texas Bank and Trust Student Board of Directors her senior year, the National Honor Society, the Hispanic Honor Society, and served as President for the Rotary Interact Club. On top of all of that, she was chosen by Crawford to be Senior Spotlight of the Year.

She was involved in numerous volunteer and community service activities including Red Raider Rider Motorcycle and Car Show, Camp Sunshine, Girls Invested in Volunteering Efforts, East Texas Food Bank, and more.

Harmon was selected as the “Outstanding Senior of the Year” presented by Rotary for exhibiting leadership skills, outstanding academics, and taking time to willingly serve the community.

Harmon will be attending The University of Texas at Dallas in the fall where she plans to major in law and specifically venture into public relations.

Chapel Hill’s Schuyler Wages (LeTourneau University) and John Tyler’s Ashtyn Beal (Collin College) were the previous recipients of the award.

Cindy Smoak, SPORTyler Vice President, said The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose High School Scholarship was established by SPORTyler, Inc. in 2014. This scholarship is awarded to graduating seniors from Smith County high schools who participated in varsity athletic programs. The intent of The Earl Campbell Scholarship is to encourage student athletes to succeed on and off the field.

Recipients should exemplify the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell, the scholarship’s namesake: integrity, teamwork, sportsmanship, persistence and community involvement.

She added the students do not have to play athletics in college and it is also based on a need basis.

The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community, and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.

In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year DI Texas college.

The winners of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award include: 2013 — Bryce Petty, quarterback, Baylor; 2014 — Trevone Boykin, quarterback, TCU; 2015 — Greg Ward Jr., quarterback, Houston; and 2016 — D’Onta Foreman, running back, Texas.