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Willis High School graduate Corinne “Cori” Eckert is among 12 area high school graduates to have been awarded a scholarship by The Howard Hughes Corporation for college endeavors. Cori plans to attend Texas A&M University.

Students were selected by their high school, based on academics and extracurricular activities. For Willis High School, the school where students residing in The Woodlands Hills® attend, seniors were asked to describe why they liked living in Montgomery County.

Here are excerpts from Cori’s essay:

Why I Like Living in Montgomery County

Growing up, I thought every town was just like mine, and living here was just average. I saw the same people every day, same kids at the playground, same moms at the grocery store. There wasn’t any reason to go very far because all my friends lived close. Small towns are full of routine. Everyone goes to the same school, same church, and eats at the same Whataburger® after every football game…As I got older, I realized that Montgomery County is a one-of-a-kind place. Not only could I go to the beach just an hour away, but I could also get to Lake Conroe in minutes. I could see wide open spaces of land, and before I know it, I’m in historic downtown Montgomery. I was blessed to grow up in a close-knit community that I could call home. There are so many unique aspects like the Montgomery County Fair and the hundreds of family-owned restaurants.

I have also noticed that there is a new development being built called The Woodlands Hills in the Willis area. I am hoping that the mass success of that neighborhood with great outdoor spaces will spread the designs to the rest of the city. Having spaces with trails, playgrounds, and recreation areas would serve residents of all ages. The people in Willis deserve places around town to go outside and enjoy nature. Building more outdoor areas in my community would allow the population quick access to the outdoors, which they might not be able to get without going somewhere like The Woodlands. I think that the new developments in the area should focus on the natural resources we have. The Woodlands Hills is doing what others should, and that is implementing and embracing the natural beauty in northern Montgomery County. I hope that the people moving into our area can soon have the same amenities as parks, pools, playgrounds, and trails.

I used to take all this for granted; I just wanted to get out. I didn’t realize how many memories, friendships, and bonds I would make being in Montgomery County. After I have gone off to college, this will still be my hometown, and it will always be my home.

-Cori Eckert

Congratulations Cori and best wishes at Texas A&M University!

Photo caption:

Pictured with Cori Ekert are Jim Carman, Senior Vice President, Commercial Development for The Howard Hughes Corporation (left) and Heath Melton, Senior Vice President, Master Planned Communities, Residential for The Howard Hughes Corporation (right), all giving an enthusiastic “Gig ‘Em” thumbs up.