STAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
— MELBA PREVOT —
Prevot, a former Fort Bend ISD educator, started Making Progress is a Journey (MPJ Academy) in 2008 as a way to keep students in school.
She saw that students who were pregnant or had children, had to work to help their family survive, cared for ill parents or younger siblings, faced unique challenges from their peers.
MPJ has allowed people from all walks of life to get their high school diploma and has been a blessing to the Fort Bend Community. It has provided an opportunity for people who did not get their high school diploma to complete a 27 credit (recommended program) and attend any college of their choice. On a special note about Melba Prevot.
— RICK PAL —
Pal is the founder of Ek Disha, a non-profit that funds high-impact humanitarian projects globally. Over last 10 years, Ek Disha has impacted thousands of lives. They have worked locally with non-profits like Lunches of Love, The Rose, and Search Homeless. They also raised funds and increased awareness in local schools for natural disasters in Oklahoma and Nepal and assisted with Global Issues Summit at Clements High School. He is a board member and former Chairman of Indo-American Forum of Fort Bend that has helped dozens of Fort Bend charities like Child Advocates, Fort Bend Literacy Council, Texana Center, Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse, Behind The Badge, Children’s Discovery Center, and Fort Bend Seniors.
Pal is also an award-winning entrepreneur in the fields of manufacturing, retail and high-tech.
— KEN HAINLINE —
Hainline is a Sugar Land resident and the instructor for Yoga For Everybody (Y4EB). He’s but very active in the community and teaches yoga classes through Sugar Land Parks and Recreation. He also offers free yoga to Seniors at the Sugar Land Senior Center. By using community facilities, Hainline is able to keep his overhead costs lower and can offer yoga to more people. His goal is to share the benefits of yoga through regular practice. He also volunteers willingly his time and efforts to many of his students, particularly the elderly who may need a helping hand around the house.
— ALYSSA FERGUSON —
Ferguson is a Fort Bend ISD student from Sienna Plantation who is currently battling brain cancer. She had an opportunity to go to to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and instead of choosing to meet a famous person or take a vacation somewhere, she chose to do something for an underprivileged community in Africa.
Her unselfishness came through loudly, when as a wish child for Make-A-Wish she chose to have a fresh water well dug in Africa for a village in need. That well is currently providing fresh water for the village as well as for the surrounding area, as the region is suffering from a severe drought and many other wells have failed.
— SUE HAUENSTEIN —
Sue Hauenstein, a former Fort Bend ISD trustee, who sends out community updates and events each week. She never misses a week.
According to a person who receives her e-mails, they are invaluable to many people who depend on her knowledge of area events, election updates, weather related information, and fun facts.
Her nominator said, “Her emails are not bias but factual and just give information without any opinions of her own. Its time that Sue is recognized for all of her hard work.”
— DAVID VAN KLEECK —
Van Kleeck is a Sugar Land resident, U.S. Army Veteran and Princeton University graduate who’s a retired Chemical Engineer.
But more importantly, Van Kleeck is a dedicated community volunteer. He moved to Sugar Land in 1990. In 1992, he became den leader for his oldest son’s pack at Colony Meadows Elementary School. Next, when his son was ready for Boy Scouts, they joined Troop 731, chartered by the Exchange Club of Sugar Land. He has been active in Troop 731 since about 1995, 20 years. When Van Kleeck joined the troop, there had been one scout reach the rank of Eagle. As of this date, there are 100 scouts from the troop who have reached the Eagle rank, including his two sons, Michael and Brian. He has been a scout parent, scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, merit badge counselor, eagle scout mentor, District Chair for the Thunderwolf District, and is now Chair for Adult Leader Training for that district.
— NOREEN COVEY—
Noreen Covey is a Sienna Plantation who’s a star volunteer in the Fort Bend County.
She is the top fund-raiser for Baines Middle School where her daughter is an eighth grader.
This is Covey’s third year being in charge of sponsorship sales for the huge Baines Boondoggle, in the spring at our middle school. She also was team mom for her daughter’s eighth-grade district champion volleyball team.
Each year, Covey spends many, many hours supporting our coaches & teams. She just executed a wonderful team party for all our volleyball teams! She hosted the party at the new Juice it Raw in Sienna.
She is a dedicated member of the Baines PTO and volunteers at Ridge Point High is well – where her son is a recent graduate.
Covey also volunteers for the Fort Bend Educational Fund and the Fort Bend Women’s Shelter.
She is also co-producing & in charge of sponsors for the 1st annual Santa’s List Toy Drive in Sienna Plantation — benefitting the Fort Bend Women’s Shelter. All the toys will go to the children living in the shelter.