Trayvion Newton

Scholar pursuing a degree in electrical engineering at Berea College

Trayvion is the recipient of the 2021 Texas National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Scholarship and the Troy Broussard Leadership award, two prestigious honors that acknowledges his impressive academic accomplishments and his passion for engineering and technology.

The salutatorian of his graduating class at Legacy Preparatory Academy, Trayvion has always been incredibly passionate about being involved in school and academics – he even managed to get all A’s during his senior year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and transition into online classes. Though Trayvion said, for the most part, he enjoyed doing school online, he also missed his classmates and teachers. In particular, he missed his math class.

During Trayvion’s academic career, leadership has been a consistent through line. Along with joining student council in 11th grade, he became the captain of the robotics club his senior year, a position that perfectly fit his love of collaborating and creating things.

In high school, Trayvion also completed an internship with DHA Housing Solutions for North Texas, an opportunity he says helped him strengthen his social and organizational skills. “My internship with DHA taught me a lot,” says Trayvion. “I hope I can do another internship with them when I’m home for summer break.”

Trayvion has already begun his freshman year at Berea College, a renowned liberal arts college in Kentucky and the first college in the southern United States to become integrated. Berea also has a No-Tuition Promise, guaranteeing students a job on campus that helps them pay for school expenses.

Eager to explore a new part of the country, Trayvion is excited to be going to school out of state. “I’ve lived in North Texas my whole life,” Trayvion says, “I’m excited to experience something new.”

Going to an out-of-state school wouldn’t have been possible without the Texas NAHRO and Opportunity Rising scholarships. Both scholarships will help Trayvion pay for his travel expenses between Berea and North Texas. “If I didn’t have this scholarship, there would be no way for me to get to school or come home for breaks,” says Trayvion, adding that he hopes to have another internship when he is back in Texas over summer vacation.

Inspired by his brother-in-law, who works as an electrical engineer, Trayvion is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering at Berea. After receiving a tour of the facility where his brother-in-law works, Trayvion knew he wanted to join this field.

Trayvion is an inventor that loves creating things. His dream invention is to create the world’s first 80% efficient solar panel. “Current solar panels are about 33% efficient,” Trayvion explains. “Everyone has access to the sun. Creating an energy efficient solar panel not only can help bring electricity to low-income countries, but can help move us away from relying on fossil fuels for energy.”

Earning a degree in electrical engineering gets Trayvion one step closer to realizing his dream. “Thank you for this scholarship, without it I wouldn’t have a way of getting to Kentucky for school” Trayvion says. “This support will help me accomplish my goals and not worry about how I can get home to my family for summer break.”

For any student who might be considering applying for a scholarship through Opportunity Rising, Trayvion’s advice is simple: “Try your best on the essay, talk about your personal experiences and most importantly write from the heart.”