Dallas Mavs College Scholarship Winner: Meet Howard Anderson III
Howard Anderson III. Recently sat down on a cold winter afternoon and contemplated his first visit to the Dallas Life Foundation, a homeless shelter for men, women and children in dire need of help.
Anderson was still a formidable teenager at the time and somehow understood the gravity of the situation and the litany of challenges these families faced and the emotional toll it was taking on their minds, bodies, and spirits. He also understood that it was his duty to step in and help.
“When I first went to the Dallas Life Foundation, I was in eighth grade and it was for a project for our school,” said Anderson. “My uncle and his wife worked there and introduced us. There were some kids my age and they went through everything.
“I had the feeling that it made me better as a person because they saw all people in different situations and how they depend on it and how they behave in that situation. They all just treated it like it was a normal day. It made me think about life from a different perspective, about how I can sometimes stand in front of myself and really be pampered. I think it helped me become a better person. I realized that I was blessed. And I wanted to help, so every now and then I go back and help out. “
Armed with a new perspective on life, Anderson set out on what ultimately made him one of five recipients of the Dallas Mavericks Scholarship Program.
“Howard was nominated by our partner Education is Freedom and then elected by an internal Mavs selection committee made up of members from across the organization,” said Emily Luth, the Mavs’ manager of community relations. “Howard is a wonderful person who is motivated and has worked hard to achieve his college and career goals.”
While working with the homeless isn’t usually on a teen’s to-do list, even Anderson’s major – Environment Design Architecture – is something of a paradigm shift.
“What we do major is think about how we can build a building but make it safe for the environment,” said Anderson, a freshman at Texas A&M. “We have different problems and like us solve them. That way we can make a better world and keep it. “
And how did the desire to become an environmental design architect become Anderson’s dream job?
“I was in seventh grade and my teacher hired her on a project where we had to find three things we loved and find the best job for us,” he said. “At the time I loved doing math and I loved drawing, and the best thing that came out of it was architecture. So I did some research and fell in love with her.
“First I wanted to be an architectural engineer, then I came across environmental design. It’s really a blessing in disguise and I’m really enjoying it. “
Education has always been at the root of Anderson’s existence. He graduated from South Oak Cliff Collegiate High School in the first five percent of his class, where he received a degree in applied science. He has also been a member of the National Honor Society, the National Society of High School Scholars, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Mountain View Honor Society, and an EIF Fellow.
“I went to Mountain View for college classes in my junior and senior years,” said Anderson. “I ended up getting my associate degree in applied sciences so that I can carry it over to my college classes.”
And that’s not all.
“I go to the ‘exciting’ Senior Hills Baptist Church in Cedar Hill and volunteer at the church basketball games,” said Anderson. “I have referees, I’ve trained and sometimes I’ve helped in the kitchen. I would do a lot of things.
“For every Thanksgiving day and Christmas we made small baskets to feed the people in our community.”
Due in part to his extensive efforts to be an effective member of the community and to be in the upper class, Anderson was well received when his name and résumé were presented to the Mavs internal selection committee.
“We are very happy that he has received our Mavs scholarship,” said Luth. “He will receive up to $ 25,000 based on tuition for the next four years, along with a Mavs mentor and the option to intern with the Mavs if they choose to do so later in their college careers. “
Anderson thanks the Mavs for financial support.
“I want to thank you very much because without this scholarship I would be in debt for the year $ 13,000,” he said. “So they really blessed me and I can’t thank them enough for that. I am infinitely grateful.
“The scholarship will help me and my family as I have a sister in college and my little brother will start college in a few years. A&M costs a lot of money to come here. So when I help, I can take the strain off my back so I can work harder and focus on academics. “
Anderson’s sister Francesca is a senior at Prairie View A&M and his brother William is a freshman at Carter Collegiate High School.
One reason Anderson said he wanted to be an architect is because he wants to show kids from his school that they can be anything they set out to be. He wants to be the leader who walks the path and leads the conversation, becoming an integral source of inspiration in the process.
“I think I inspire others to do better by carrying myself,” said Anderson. “I know I can have fun and everything, but I know when it’s time to be serious, it’s time to be serious and I’m proud of it.
“I get that from my father and grandpa. I just look up to them and try to be like them as best I can. I take my job very seriously, I take my lifestyle very seriously, and I take my reputation very seriously, so I try to reflect this in a different way than how I carry myself. “
Spoken like a true future environmental architect.
To learn more about the Mavs College Scholarship Program and to meet the other recipients, click here.