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$1,200 awarded to Angelina Tapia through the Je'sani Smith Water Scholarship

The award is in honor of Je'sani Smith who drowned in April 2019. His mother created this scholarship in his name.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The second-ever Je'sani Smith Water Scholarship was handed out to a 2020 King High School graduate this afternoon.

Angelina Tapia was given a $1,200 scholarship to be used towards her college expenses. She will be attending Texas A&M Corpus Christi to major in Nursing and minor in Dance.

"I was shocked because I was supposed to be going to lunch, but then seeing everyone walk up with the scholarship," Tapia said. 

Kiwana Denson, the mother of Je'sani Smith, the young man who drowned near Whitecap Beach in April 2019, vowed to teach people about the dangers of rip currents and created this scholarship in his name.

"Instead of senior skip day, she [Tapia] created what they call a field day and that allowed students to stay in school, have fun, and learn about beach safety and rip current awareness," Smith said. 

The scholarship is only open to King High School students. Smith was supposed to graduate last year.

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