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Giving Back


By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – While the school year is now officially over for Grapeland ISD students, there are still a few details left to take care of.

One of those details was checked off of the list on Thursday, May 28 when the grand prize winners of the GISD #LiveLearnLove Raffle Challenge were awarded their loot – brand new laptop computers. 

The challenge was designed for students to grow in various areas of their lives. Some of the activities associated with the challenge included participating in an outdoor activity (live), performing a random act of kindness (love), and reading a book (learn). For more information on the program, please see the Grapeland ISD Facebook page.

On hand for the presentation was Class of 91 GHS graduate Greg Burns, who presented two of the four laptops to the students. GISD covers the cost for the other two computers. 

Asked how he got involved with this program, Burns said he fell in love with technology when he was in the fifth grade, after watching the movie “War Games.”

He added while growing up, he always looked forward to the “Weekly Reader” and would ask his mom to buy him technology books advertised in the periodical.

“I went to school here and we got involved with technology at the junior high and we started a newspaper. When I got into high school we started working with Microsoft Office which helped me get even more into it,” he explained.

After graduating from GHS, Burns attended Stephen F. Austin State University where he majored in general business, but “… set my degree plan to what I wanted to do with technology. I got out of there and went back to school at the University of Phoenix. I got a degree there and a certification in advanced cybersecurity.”

Keeping his high school alma mater in mind, Burns said he always wanted to start his own business and after doing so, “I wanted to give back to my home. I started giving back last year. (GISD Superintendent) Mr. (Don) Jackson and I discussed it again and he asked if it was possible to give back again this year. Even with everything going on, I still wanted to give again. So, I will try and do two laptops as long as I can.”  

The grand prize winners of the laptops were: Kara Jackson; Isaac Edwards; Jessie Payne; and Stephen Streetman.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.   

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