CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — To say Flour Bluff High School senior Julia Gilliam is a busy young woman is an understatement.
In addition to maintaining good grades in her classes, she's a Girl Scout, the president of her school's chapter of the National Honor Society, and a member of the 4-H Club.
It was in that last role that Julia created the Nueces County Junior Livestock All Stars Show which gives kids with special needs the opportunity to raise and show farm animals.
“This is actually the fourth year I’m organizing it," Julia said. "And I’m really excited, because we got a lot of new members and new kids doing the all star show.”
Her creating and continuing to run that show is a big reason why the Texas Board of Education recognized her with a Student Hero Award.
It's an honor only one student in each of the board's 15 districts statewide receives.
“For her to be able to do something like that — to help these kids that might not otherwise get the opportunity to be a part of (a livestock raising) program — it’s a pretty amazing thing," Texas Board of Education District 2 Representative Ruben Cortez said.
Cortez gave the award to Gilliam at halftime of the Flour Bluff boys basketball game on Tuesday.
Her mother, father, and other family members were in the bleachers to witness it.
“I’m really proud of her," Julia's mother Suzanne Gilliam said. "She just loves her community. She’s always looking for some community service activity."
Flour Bluff I.S.D. Superintendent Velma Soliz-Garcia was also at the ceremony, and she says the honor is well deserved.
"(Julia) is all over the place representing our Hornets and our school district," she said. "And we’re extremely proud of her.”
Julia is proud of her school district.
And she's happy to bring home, what Soliz-Garcia described, as one of the highest honors a Flour Bluff student had ever earned.
“It’s very special," Julia said. "And I’m excited that I’m able to share this award with Flour Bluff I.S.D., because we’re just an exciting and interesting and fun school district.”