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UpTop Denton Gifts Laptops to RHS College-Bound Seniors

An idea that started as a small effort to provide technology for a handful of college-bound students at Ryan High has tripled in size and captured the hearts of a local Rotary Club. As a result, UpTop Denton presented 18 members of the Class of 2018 laptops for them to take to college next fall.


“Of course, I was thrilled for the seniors to have this opportunity and honestly, was somewhat in disbelief – that someone who didn’t know these students wanted to do this for them,” said Diane Owen, Language Arts teacher and Talent Search coordinator at Ryan. “Last year was the first year Talent Search worked with UpTop Denton, and the Talent Search Class of 2017 at Ryan had six laptop scholarship recipients.”    


During an assembly to celebrate their upcoming graduation, Chris Briggs, UpTop Founder, and Glen Farris of Denton Evening Rotary Club talked with students about careers, college and the importance of giving back to their community.  


With the assistance of Couri Sargent, also of Denton Evening Rotary, the team presented all 18 participants with their very own laptop. After Denton’s local Best Buy even deeply discounted the purchase when they learned about the beneficiaries.


A GoFundMe page for UpTop Denton plainly states: “UpTop Denton is into guerrilla do-gooding, and is not recognized as a non-profit so the donations are not tax-deductible. We will use the money donated and out of our pockets to buy as many laptops as we can.”


Talent Search is a College-Prep Program that is funded through the U.S. Department of Education and is housed at the University of North Texas. Talent Search is a part of five TRIO Programs in the country that exist across the U.S., to help students be college-ready and graduate once enrolled in a post-secondary institution.


The Talent Search program is a pre-college program that assists students with preparing for college through individual & group meetings that include workshops on:  study skills, course selection, career & college exploration, college tours, ACT/SAT test-prep, leadership, mentoring, resume building, essay writing, assistance with college, financial aid, and scholarship applications, transitioning to college.


Many of the Ryan High students will be the first in their family to pursue college and can benefit from the extra guidance in the college preparation process that begins in the freshman year with an emphasis on: study skills, taking college-prep level classes, and building a strong resume by getting involved in extracurricular activities and community service, financial literacy, and leadership skills.


This year’s Class of 2018 students in Talent Search who qualified for the UpTop Laptop Scholarships, as with last year’s applicants, were required to complete their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and college applications by a given deadline and write an essay describing, “How a laptop could benefit them in their continued educational pursuits beyond high school.”


The following Ryan High School Talent Search seniors received UpTop Laptop Scholarships and have been accepted to one or more colleges (listed below with intended majors) for the Fall 2018 semester:  


Blessing Adebisi – TWU, Collin County Community College (CCCC) -Intended Major:  Business

Rofiat Adigun – TWU, Tarleton, West Texas A&M – Intended Major:  Nursing

Alyssa Arevalo – TWU, Texas State, Midwestern – Intended Major: Nurse Practitioner

Jereni Flores – TWU, UNT – Intended Major: Respiratory Therapist/Medical/Science

Faviola Gauna – TWU – Intended Major:  Medical/Nursing

Gina Hernandez – TWU, NCTC – Intended Major:  Medical/Nursing

Giselle Hernandez – TWU, NCTC – Intended Major:  Medical

Alexis Houston – UNT, TWU, NCTC – Sports Management

Gabi Mantecon – UNT, Mary Hardin Baylor, Kilgore – Intended Major:  Dance/History Teacher

Melanie Moreno – UNT, Tarleton – Intended Major:  Veterinarian Medicine

Grace Mulkey – UNT, Texas Tech – Intended Major: Pre-Med/Psychology

Edith Rojas – UT Arlington, TWU – Intended Major:  Nursing

Skarleth Santibanez – UT Austin, UNT, University of Kansas – Intended Major: Astronomy

Sydney Sewell – NCTC – Music/Theater

Taylor Sims – TWU, Southeastern OK – Intended Major:  Elementary Teacher/English/Journalism

Alan Trejo – NCTC – Intended Major:  Architecture

Melanie Vivanco – UT Austin, UNT, Oklahoma State – Intended Major:  Engineering

Deisy Yanez – UNT – Intended Major:  Engineering


For more information about the Ryan High Talent Search, contact Diane Owen, and for information about UpTop Denton, contact Chris Briggs  at