The Chamber of Commerce will honor the nominees from all three county high schools at its annual banquet on Saturday, Feb. 28, at VFW Post 6290, beginning at 6 p.m.
The banquet is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased at the chamber office.
William Jacob Cobb
William Jacob Cobb, the son of DeeAnna Cobb of Refugio, is currently the top-ranked student in his class. He will graduate with 21 semester hours of college credit.
Jacob has participated in the Blanconia chapter of 4-H since 1998, and has held the office of vice president, second vice president, and parliamentarian. He also served on the 4-H council for two years; as vice president and as secretary; and has also been a 4-H ambassador for two years.
Apart from his 4-H leadership activities, he is also one of the drum majors for the Refugio High School Mighty Bobcat Marching Band. He is currently the senior class vice president, and a member of the executive committee for the local chapter of National Honor Society. Jacob has also been a member of UIL One-Act Play for four years.
This year Jacob was given the Good Citizen Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution. He also won second place in the VFW Voice of Democracy essay contest.
An active member of the First United Methodist Church, Jacob was a church acolyte while still in Sunday school.
Also active in community service, Jacob has worked at the Good Samaritan Center since 1998 and has collected canned goods at Halloween for the organization since 1998.
He also plays piano at his church on special occasions; made packages for Operation Christmas Child and participated in the local S.N.O.W. program.
The senior has also had to overcome drastic hardships during his high school career. During Jacob’s sophomore year, he lost his father in a car accident.
Since the accident, Jacob says he has grown and developed, assuming the role as the man of the house. Jacob has made tough family decisions both about the funeral and family economics.
“I have learned a tough life lesson: life is not a game, it is real and it comes at you fast,” Jacob says.
The young man admits the loss caused him to stumble for the latter half of his sophomore and his junior year; however, he has come to terms with his loss and has become a strong, independent young man who is ready to take on the challenge of college and the real world.
Jacob has currently been accepted to three universities including The University of Texas - Austin, Texas A&M University - College Station, and St. Edward’s University.
Jacob has applied to Rice University and, if accepted, will attend that school. His second choice is Texas A&M University. Regardless of the college, he plans to study medicine, specifically neurology, because he finds the brain fascinating. One of his personal ambitions is to study and work on a cure for many of the diseases that harm the brain, especially Alzheimer’s.
Laura L. McGuill
Laura, the daughter of Andrew and Tina McGuill of Refugio, is an altar server and a member of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Blanconia.
Laura is currently ranked fifth in her class. She will graduate under the Distinguished Program with 18 college hours of credit. She has been the recipient of the Academic Education Excellence Award during all four of her high school years.
Laura says she has “evolved from a shy nine-year-old into a strong and confident youth leader. By accepting the challenge of leadership within my 4-H club school, and community, I developed strong skills of public speaking, acceptance of authority, and how to communicate with youth and adults.”
She says she has acquired her good work ethics from working on the McGuill Ranch every summer since she was nine.
Currently serving as vice-president of the National Honor Society, Laura was inducted into the NHS her sophomore year. She has also demonstrated her leadership role in high school by being named sectional leader for the woodwinds section of the Bobcat Band her junior year.
Laura has been 4-H ambassador her sophomore, junior and senior year; 4-H County Council President her junior and senior year; 4-H Youth Board Member, junior and senior year.
She has been an active member in Blanconia 4-H Club for 10 years and is the recipient of many accolades including the Gold Star Award, I Dare You Award, and the Outstanding Junior Award.
She also served as the 4-H Queen, and her goats and commercial heifers received Reserve Champion.
She has served as the Blanconia 4-H Club president, secretary-treasurer, reporter, council delegate; teen leader food and nutrition project for six years; school tour guide for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition her freshman and sophomore years.
Laura has participated in Relay for life; donated non-perishable food items for Good Samaritan Center; donated to Toys for Tots; assisted handicapped 4-H members to show broilers at the San Antonio Stock Show; assembled gift boxes for Operation Christmas Child; designed calendars for Refugio County Quilt Guild; and donated smoke alarms for Sound the Alarm program.
Laura was the first female to compete at state for RHS in power lifting. She was most valuable girl power lifter her sophomore and junior year, earned third place at state her junior year, regional qualifier her sophomore and junior years, fourth place at nationals her sophomore year, and she received the Best Female Lifter Award twice at high school meets her junior year.
She participated in cross country her senior year; an was a regional qualifier in track for three years.
Laura plans to attend Texas State University San Marcos and major in nutritional science to become either a nutritionist or dietician.
Daniel is the son of Philip and Patty Shay of Refugio.
Throughout his high school career, he has maintained an average above a 90 and currently has an average of 100.351.
“Throughout school, I have learned more than what was expected and have had great grades,” Daniel says. “This is something I can hand to people on paper in order to prove to them that I am willing to work hard.”
He has held most of the offices in his 4-H club including president, secretary, parliamentarian, treasurer and reporter. He is also the treasurer at the district level and has been an ambassador for a number of years.
In school he has been elected to class offices and has been the loading crew captain in band for the past two years. Daniel is also president of the National Honor Society.
“Through these rolls, I have learned to lead people and assign them roles that take advantage of their abilities,” Daniel said. “I have also learned the importance of delegation.”
The last few years, his 4-H club has sent gifts across the world for Christmas. This year they collected canned goods for the Good Samaritan Center. Through NHS, he has improved his school and collected and donated glasses.
Over the last two years in One-Act Play, he has worked over 200 hours helping to put on competitions and maintaining the auditorium at the school. Every chance he gets he looks for an opportunity to help those who have helped him learn the skills that he has learned. This year during study halls, he helped to keep the teachers’ workroom stocked with copy paper and assisted teachers.
“Through all of my activities, I have matured and learned how to be a better person,” Daniel said. “I now know the invaluable importance of being an active member of my community.”
Daniel plans to attend Texas State University in San Marcos or San Antonio College. His field of interest is theater technology.
“Since my sophomore year, I have taken every opportunity to learn all that I can about this field and I am confident that I will be successful,” he said. “This has been one of my strongest motivators as it works with my drive to always learn something new.”