Willis High School graduate, Tonya Benavidez, is among 20 area high school students to have been awarded a scholarship by The Howard Hughes Corporation for higher education endeavors. Tonya plans to attend Sam Houston State University.

This is the fourth annual scholarship awarded to a Willis High School graduate from The Howard Hughes Corporation, continuing the developer’s tradition of funding scholarships since the 1980s. Students residing in The Woodlands Hills attend Willis High School. The Woodlands Hills is located 13 miles north of The Woodlands, situated in Conroe and Willis, and is one of the award-winning master planned communities in the Greater Houston area portfolio of Howard Hughes.  

“We congratulate Willis High School graduate Tonya Benavidez for receiving this year’s scholarship,” said Heath Melton, Executive Vice President of Master Planned Communities,  Residential for Howard Hughes. “We are proud of her accomplishments as well as her essay about the schools in Montgomery County, which help make The Woodlands Hills a great place to live and grow. We believe in the importance of investing in our youth and the future of young minds, and are delighted to help support such a promising young student’s college education goals.”

The scholarship recipient was chosen by Willis High School and included an essay on why they liked living in Montgomery County. Tonya is a member of the National Honors Society Club and recently donated school supplies to kids in need and clothes to the Goodwilll donation center.


An excerpt from Tonya’s essay is as follows:

Tonya Benavidez, Willis High School Scholarship Recipient

Why I Like Living in Montgomery County

One of the main things I like about Montgomery County is the schools. I live in Willis, TX and to the elementary, middle, and high school that I have been to are great schools. The environment of the schools that I have been to are also a safe place for us to be at which is really good. When I graduate from college and get my degree I want to come back to Willis High School to teach. I want to teach Algebra 1 to 9th grade students.

Congratulations Tonya, and best wishes at Sam Houston State University!