The world often measures success by wealth, status or academic achievement.

The world is wrong.

True success ought to be measured by character, for it is through determination, grit and a strong moral compass that one becomes a good person.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce a partnership between The Facts and the Taylor Whitley Show Up Foundation to honor two Show Up Students of the Year with $1,500 scholarships for college or trade school.

You’ll see an ad in today’s paper with all the particulars on how to nominate someone, but here is the most important stuff:

This is not an award for academic achievement. It is solely about character. We are looking for two young people — seniors in high school or freshmen or sophomores in college or technical school — who have shown, either by a single notable act or a lifetime of good deeds, the character that rises above others.

By now you probably have read about Shannon Whitley honoring young people in Brazoria County with Show Up awards. Shannon started the Show Up Foundation in honor of her late husband, an Aggie and professional football player known for his strong character. After his death, a friend noted advice Taylor Whitley had given him: Show up, give a flip, repeat.

From that mantra, the Show Up Foundation was born, and because of Taylor’s legacy and Shannon’s vision, the foundation has awarded many local youths with $500 awards for showing up and exhibiting good character.

Support for the foundation has grown, and so has its ability to do good. Shannon Whitley, a Lake Jackson native, last year sought to expand the foundation’s reach throughout Brazoria County and beyond, and in doing so, offered to grant two scholarships to Show Up Students of the Year, nominated by you, Facts readers.

To nominate a student, simply write an essay of up to 400 words. It needs not be fancy or elegant, just words from the heart about why a young person you know deserves to be honored with the scholarship. The nomination form on page 5A of today’s paper can serve as your guide. It is important to note, however, that nominations will not be accepted from family members. For example, you can nominate your babysitter, an employee, a friend of the family who helped you during a crisis or a young person who volunteers at your church, but you cannot nominate a grandchild.

Nominations are due by April 23 and can be mailed to The Facts, dropped off at our office at 720 South Main Street in Clute or emailed to Facts managers will choose the winners, and they will be announced online and in a special section honoring them in May.

I have often said leadership is 100 percent about character. How one treats people, whether they show kindness and compassion, means everything. The simple act of showing up, when our friends need us, when the community needs us, makes the world an infinitely better place.

Show Up Students of the Year scholarships aim to nurture that instinct in our young leaders in hopes that recognition inspires others to do the same.

Yvonne Mintz is editor and publisher of The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0100 or

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