Our Success Stories
Click on an image to learn more about a Scholar who has graduated
Dr. Christian Bell became the first SEEF Scholar to receive her Ph.D.
Soon after graduating Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, her mother passed away.
Despite these challenges, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development, and now a Doctorate in Education Policy and Planning! Christian spent two years giving back to disadvantaged communities through Teach for America. We are so very proud of her!
Steven Gary II
Kenny Quang graduated from Union High School with an incredibly impressive 5.19 weighted GPA and continued on to the University of Oklahoma to study Microbiology.
Kenny says, “I view education as an opportunity to wander the endless ocean of knowledge that is just waiting to be absorbed by young and motivated minds.” Young and motivated he definitely is.
An instructor at Union High School commented, “Kenny represents that student every teacher adores; he is intellectual, diligent, talented, and charming. He takes advantage of every opportunity to improve himself and demonstrate his assiduousness”.
Ramon Watkins was a high school football star here in Tulsa. He dreamed of becoming a college football player and hoped that an athletic scholarship would put him through school.
That’s when The Simon Estes Educational Foundation, Inc. stepped in and helped Ramon attend college. He graduated top of his class at Cornell University, and became a Managing Attorney at ONEOK Partners in Tulsa.
Ramon said one of the keys to his success was the support The Simon Estes Educational Foundation, Inc. gave him. “They didn’t just give me a check….they checked in with me…they made sure I had emotional support – that makes a huge difference.”
Harold Wes Phillips
Harold “Wes” Phillips graduated from Memorial High School with an impressive GPA of 3.97. He double majored in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University and later graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College.
As a basketball player in high school, and a football player at Yale, he was a leader inside the classroom and out. The Simon Estes Educational Foundation, Inc. saw that quality in him when he graduated from Memorial, and is extraordinarily proud of him today. The Foundation says, “He exemplifies a leader. He leads by example. His enthusiasm for school and life in general is contagious.”
Melicia Mathews graduated from Booker T. Washington High School with an impressive GPA and an even more impressive work ethic. She went on to Oklahoma State University to study Mechanical Engineering.
While finishing her degree at OSU, Melicia interned at Nordam in Tulsa, and pursued graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Dynamics and Control Systems.
When asked what difference The Simon Estes Educational Foundation, Inc. made in her life, Melicia comments, “I’ve had a mentorship with a donor and he’s introduced me to people and given me opportunities that I might not have otherwise had.”
Halee Scott studied Engineering at The University of Tulsa.
As a member of the National Honor Society, Oklahoma Honor Society, Spirit Bank Roundtable, and an Oklahoma Scholar and Valedictorian, Halee was unstoppable.
She said, “…raised with the mentality of a winner, I will not stop until I have obtained my goal.” Others agree, “Truly, Halee is a unique and indomitable young lady. She has proven that she can accomplish anything with hard work and resolve.”
Marvin Rowell, Jr. graduated from Bristow High School with a 4.0 GPA, and was ranked 1 in a
class of 103.
While in high school, Marvin was involved in the LEO Club and various sports, including the
Dual State Championship Wrestling Team. Awards received include Academic Excellence
Award, Superintendent’s Honor Roll, Oklahoma Honor Roll, Junior Honor Guard, Woodsman of
the World History Award, Valedictorian, and National Honor Society.
Comments from former teachers include, “Marvin is one of the most admirable young men I
have had the pleasure of knowing and one of very few who I would, without any reservation,
recommend for anything he chooses to do.”
“Marvin has a high level of integrity and is a very dependable and trustworthy person who is
always striving to do his best in whatever task he undertakes. His mature and caring attitude is
one of his most valuable assets that set him apart from other young men his age.”
Marvin believes that “education is a priority that drives him toward excellence” as he plans to