This Klein Forest graduate went from student to Morehouse graduate to teacher thanks to his ambition, his mother’s support, and donations from Houston residents.
HOUSTON – Zadarius Webber is the proud son of a single mother in Harris County. He credits his determination to his mother’s work ethic.
“I was very involved in school from elementary through high school, and it all cost me a lot,” Weber said. “So she had to make some serious sacrifices,” while never limiting her son’s ability to dream of himself.
“When I was in the fourth grade, I knew then that I wanted to go to college,” Weber recalls. President Obama had just been sworn in and I said: I want to get to this point. And my teacher said, “In order to get to this point, you have to get past high school.”
Getting into college was a challenge in itself. The Klein Forest High School student gained admission to Morehouse College, a prestigious and historically private black college for men.
Webber focused on his financial ability to attend college. When he was a high school student, he remembered that he was planning to the last dollar how to pay for his higher education. He received financial aid, grants, and scholarships.
But a few months before the first semester, Webber said Morehouse College has raised tuition. A teen in Harris County will need an additional $7,000 to pay for school.
“So I panic because I put everything on the map.”
In his “Peace be upon you, Mary” moment, Webber applied for a scholarship from the Greater Houston Frontiers Club. The Houston Chapter of the National Service Organization invests in high school seniors in Harris County who are committed to making the world a better place.
The club’s president, Donnell Cooper, explained that the rigorous vetting process requires essay, community service, transcripts and interviews.
“We immediately put you in front of the job interview,” Cooper said, “because we’re not just talking about the average John, the regular Mary Jane. We’re talking about the top students.”
Donations from the community dictate the number of students Frontiers Club can support.
RELATED: Meet Ariah Richards, Scholarship Recipient of the Greater Houston Frontiers Club
The suite of apps has quadrupled in size in the COVID-19 pandemic. More families need help paying for college.
Weber, who graduated from Klein ISD in the years leading up to the pandemic, was one of a few dozen recipients of a scholarship from the Frontiers Club.
He said, “First I say, thank you. Because of your commitment, you have put hundreds of students in college and changed their lives forever. And I want to encourage them, don’t stop giving.”
more: Donate to the GHFC Scholarship Program
Webber is now a middle school teacher at KIPP Texas and is working towards his master’s degree. He has plans to run for political office one day.
“I really believe when you push him to someone else so he can change his life, then he can change someone else’s life and the cycle continues.”
“That’s when you know you’re really pushing it forward, when you see the full 360 circle of the seed unfold,” said Cooper, who attended Weber’s graduation from Morehouse College.
The Grand Houston Frontiers Club also matches a mentor with each scholarship recipient to emphasize a connection to the community and a commitment to Houston’s future.
The son of a single mother learned at a young age that sacrifice can pay off, and he holds a scholarship led by generous neighbors who are now reaping the benefits of their investment.
A grant led by generous neighbors who are now reaping the benefits of their investment.