Nine students of Margaret Felty Elementary School were recipients of awards given by the Moral Courage Foundation Wednesday during an assembly Wednesday.

On hand for the ceremony were Waxahachie ISD superintendent Tom Collins, Moral Courage Foundation board member Gary Bassett and the 2009 recipient of the $25,000 Moral Courage scholarship, Jennifer Fiedler, a senior at Waxahachie High School.

“Everyone of you here today will have the opportunity, when you are fifth-graders, to be up here on this stage receiving the Moral Courage Award,” principal Linda Edmiston told the students assembled for the school-wide assembly. 

Collins noted that, within the past two years, more than $75,000 in Moral Courage Foundation scholarships has been handed out.

“The Moral Courage Foundation encourages us to really help each other, work together and stand strong, making right choices,” he told the students.

Bassett, who was instrumental in starting up the  foundation, noted the top scholarship given to Fiedler.

“It was a reward for being a caring, good student who has decided to make right choices in life,” he said, saying he expects the scholarships to increase in size in future years.

Bassett told the students about one of the second-place scholarship winners last year, who overcame a special challenge to serve other people.

“This young man had a very severe hearing problem,” Bassett said. “But rather than focus on his own problem, his focus was on helping others, which was demonstrated when he chose to do volunteer work in orphanages in Mexico and South America during his last two summers in high school. He worked with very young children and he said that he received great satisfaction from the affection he received from those children. He said he felt like he received more than he gave.”

Bassett said an ideal candidate for a Moral Courage scholarship makes right choices in life, is an exemplary student, kind and courageous, and willing to stand up for what is right.

“I believe that you can have more of what you want in life if you make right choices in life,” Bassett said.

Felty Elementary fifth-grade recipients of Moral Courage awards were Blanca Macias, Garrison Nalls, Monica Martinez, Madison Wells, Noah Rojas, Brittany Dyke, Macall Sparks, Canali Miller and Caroline Burns.

Award winners received a medal, a gift certificate to CiCi’s Pizza, a pass to Buffalo Creek Cinema, a $50 check from the Moral Courage Foundation and a voucher for two to a WHS football game. The boys also received the book, “Lightning Thief,” and a football, while the girls received the book, “Golden Compass,” and a scrapbook.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com