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CBS Mornings Executive Producer Hosts Scholarship Recipients and Non-Profit Organization that Awarded Her as a Teen

Executive Producer, Shawna Thomas, tells crowd about behind the scenes tour of CBS Mornings as Lorelle Scholars hold banners of the colleges they hope to attend

Tissy and Rusty Hardin in the ballroom as guests enjoy dinner during the 2023 Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund Legacy Gala

Tissy and Rusty Hardin bought the CBS Mornings Tour auction item and gave it to "the kids", enabling them to visit the show. and NYC

Jody Merritt, Linda Lorelle, Lindsey Gregory & Edna Meyer Nelson at the LLSF Legacy Gala on September 30, 2023

Jody Merritt, Linda Lorelle, Lindsey Gregory & Edna Meyer Nelson. Together, the Nelson and Hardin donations ensured that all expenses would be paid.

Shawna Thomas and Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund Team Up to Pay It Forward

HOUSTON, TX, UNITED STATES, May 29, 2024 / -- On Wednesday, June 5th, nine Houston area college scholarship recipients will experience a graduation gift of a lifetime: a behind the scenes tour of CBS Mornings, courtesy of Executive Producer, Shawna Thomas. Thomas, a Houston native, received the same Linda Lorelle Scholarship when she was just 13 years old. Now, as the "big boss" of CBS Mornings, Thomas is paying it forward to the next generation of leaders.

The trip came about when Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund Founders, Linda Lorelle and Lou Gregory, invited Thomas to be the keynote speaker at last September's LLSF Legacy Gala. Not only did Thomas fly in for the gala, she donated a live auction item for the CBS Mornings tour. It was purchased by famed attorney, Rusty Hardin, and his wife, Tissy, who promptly told Lorelle and Gregory to "take the kids". Thanks to the Hardins' generosity and that of another generous donor, Edna Meyer Nelson, nine Lorelle scholars will spend two days in New York, touring CBS Mornings, sightseeing, and attending the 13-time Tony nominated Broadway show, "Hell's Kitchen".

"For most of these students, this will be a trip of firsts," says Lorelle. "First trip to New York City. First time visiting a major network news operation. First time seeing a Broadway show. And what I'm most excited about is the opportunity for them to spend a little time with Shawna, and begin to envision their own possibilities. That is the real gift."

All nine scholars, and one who was not able to join the NYC trip, just graduated from high school and will head to college in the fall, each with a $10,000 scholarship from the LLSF.

The Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund was founded in 1991 when Lorelle became a prime time news anchor at Houston's NBC affiliate, KPRC-TV. Since then, the non-profit that targets students with average grades from challenging backgrounds, has awarded $4.7 million in college scholarships and life skills training to almost 400 students. At last year's LLSF Legacy Gala, Lorelle and Gregory handed over the organization to a core group of former Lorelle Scholars, and their daughter, Lindsey Gregory. Together, with ongoing advisory assistance from the founders, they are ushering in a new era of the Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund 2.0.

Linda Lorelle is an Emmy and Gracie award-winning journalist who now runs Linda Lorelle Media and hosts Our Voices Matter podcast. She and Jean Becker, former chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, are co-founders of the new democracy initiative, Civil Dialogues, in partnership with several presidential library foundations.

Linda Lorelle
Linda Lorelle Media
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