Charlotte Blank, a junior at John Paul II High School, has been named the 26th annual recipient of the Hal Tehan Scholar Award.
“When I got the call, I was in such shock and so honored to be recognized by my peers and the people I look up to in life,” Blank said. “I was so touched and felt like it was a pat on the back from God that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s motivating to serve, and I look forward to doing more. I’m even more motivated to continue down the path that God has laid out for me and feel so thankful and blessed.”
The award is given by The Catholic Foundation in honor of the late foundation leader Hal Tehan. The scholarship provides $10,000 to the top honoree, in this case, Blank, and seven scholarships of $2,500 to seven other nominees.
Each year, all local Catholic high schools can nominate a junior student who exemplifies Catholic values, contributes to the community and is generally in the top five percent of their class.
Blank certainly fits the bill. She serves in leadership roles at JPII as junior class president, JPII Ambassador and JPII Honor Council, is a three-year member of the cheerleading squad, a two-year member of the women’s lacrosse team, a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica.
“For many students, school is simply the place they go for eight hours a day, five days a week,” Blank said. “For me, school is everything. It is a sanctuary, not just for learning, but where I am nurtured as an individual. Catholic education is my foundation and my rock.”
Blank’s principal Kayla Brown says Charlotte demonstrates an incredible work ethic, leadership and offers a calming presence that brings peace to any situation.
“There may be many students who are involved like Charlotte, but the difference in her is that she chooses organizations where she can consistently serve others,” she said. “She does nothing for herself or for her own ambition. She puts Jesus at the center of her decisions and genuinely wants to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ on this earth.”
Outside of school, Blank is squad leader as a volunteer for The Storehouse of Collin County, a volunteer for Minnie’s Food Pantry, the North Texas Performing Arts and Feed My Starving Children. She is also the president of the National Charity League Class of 2024 where she earned the Yellow Rosebud Award for completing more than 50 hours of community service last school year.
Blank will receive the award and share her essay on the importance of receiving a Catholic education during the 40th annual Catholic Foundation Award dinner on February 4 at the Hilton Anatole.
“I believe wholeheartedly that my Catholic education has been one of the greatest gifts I could have ever received,” she wrote in her essay. “My faith-based community – my home away from home – and my Catholic school family has provided me with opportunities to make a difference in this world by giving me the tools to succeed in all of my scholastic and philanthropic endeavors.