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BHS student receives Sophomore of the Year award

By Sandy Jennings BCC Staff Writer

Courtesy photo
Bandera County Kiwanis President Javier Gonzales presents Blake Kromer with the Walter Hurst Sophomore of the Year Scholarship.

Bandera High School junior Blake Kromer was recognized Sept. 26 for earning the 2015-2016 Walter Hurst Sophomore of the Year Scholarship.
The Texas-Oklahoma Kiwanis Foundation presented the regional award at its District Council meeting. Kromer was unable to attend, but still received his certificate, letter and plaque for earning the $600 scholarship.
The goal of this scholarship is to seek out, recognize and develop leadership potential in high school sophomores and to encourage and prepare the next generation of civic and corporate leadership for America’s future, according to the organization’s website.The Bandera County Kiwanis sponsors Key Club International at BHS and the Builders Club at Bandera Middle School. Key Club International is a student-led organization that gives members opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership. The KCI core values are leadership, character building, caring and inclusiveness.
Kromer, a second-year member of KCI, serves as vice president.
“The Sophomore of the Year Scholarship is a prestigious award, as the winner of a scholarship is based upon leadership, education, extracurricular activities in school and volunteer hours in the community,” Bandera County Kiwanis President Javier Gonzalez said. “While we had several applicants from Bandera ISD apply, we felt Blake’s application was well-rounded, diversified and his essay was very compelling.”
Each KCI branch drops off scholarship applications at the local high schools they are affiliated with, and then review the applications choosing one sophomore to represent them at the district level. Out of 37 current divisions in the Texas-Oklahoma region and hundreds of applicants, Kromer was selected to be one of only 20 sophomores who received a $600 scholarship.
“We were very proud to receive the news that our student was chosen as a recipient as we have the smallest population and total members than any of the other clubs,” Gonzalez said.
Kromer, son of Bandera resident Stacy Kromer, is a straight-A student and has been competing in Academic Decathlon, where he serves as vice president. He also competes in UIL Social Studies, where he won the district championship last year. He’s been active on both teams since freshman year.
He also competes on the Bandera Bulldog soccer team.
Gonzalez said he was very impressed when meeting Kromer because he exemplifies what the organization looks for in today’s young leaders: honesty, moral fiber, integrity and leadership.
“I had the privilege of meeting Blake at the high school recently as I wanted to formally congratulate him on this enormous accomplishment,” Gonzalez said. “His mother should be very proud of her son and all that he does in school and in the community.”
Kromer enjoys volunteering for Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s main event. He creates the slideshow presentation for the annual Survivors Lap.
In his spare time, he loves learning foreign languages and playing guitar. Kromer’s future plans include attending college and medical school to become a surgeon.
“We at BHS are very proud of Blake and his accomplishment for winning such a distinguished, regional award,” BHS Principal Sergio Menchaca said.