Schreiner Former Students Association Next Generation Impact Award Recipients

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Kerrville, TX – Schreiner University honored three outstanding alumni on Sept 18, at the Founder’s Day Banquet. The University brought together esteemed undergraduates and alumni in the spirit of mutual celebration and to establish new cross-generational connections.

“As a University, we recognize the importance of honoring alumni who, by way of their own choices and actions have lived a life of purpose for the benefit of others,” stated Micah Wrase, Schreiner University Alumni Relations Officer. “The Next Generation Impact Award presented by the Schreiner Former Students Association recognizes recent alumni who have substantially impacted their communities through meaningful service and purposeful engagement, embodying what it means to hail from the Uniquely Texan faith-based institution.”

This year’s recipients were Benny Pena ‘03, Heath Gregory ‘01 and Sally Pena ‘02.

Schreiner Former Students Association Next Generation Impact Award Recipients

Pictured from left to right are Kayla Avirett ‘2013 (Accepting on behalf of Benny Peña ’03) – she is also a Doctor of Optometry and works with Benny, Sally Peña ’02 and Heath Gregory ’01.

After finishing his undergraduate work at Schreiner, Benny Pena attended the University of

Houston College of Optometry and launched his own optometry business in Kerrville. Today

Benny operates two Texas State Optical locations- one here in Kerrville and one in Fredericksburg. Through his business and work as an Optometrist, Benny has developed and participated in multiple programs that have provided, and continue to provide, hundreds of local low-income youth and adults with free vision health services that they otherwise could not afford. His “Vision to Learn” program provides free eye exams and glasses to school-age youth hailing from several school districts throughout the Texas Hill Country. Benny has replicated this mission to support adults through St. Vincent de Paul’s “Hope Ministry”, the Raphael Clinic, and the Christian Women’s Job Corps.

Heath Gregory has served on several boards and committees, including five years with Kerrville Public School Foundation, six years with the local Kiwanis chapter (president in his final years) and three years with the Covenant School board of directors. More recently, Heath was invited to participate in Leadership Kerr County (class of 2012) and served on the PTech Advisory Board for Ingram ISD. Heath serves as a member of the Habitat for Humanity board of directors and is currently collaborating with his alma mater to realize the building of a habitat home for a deserving local family.

Sally Pena has served with Boerne United Way as an executive board member, eight years with the Boerne YMCA Advisory Board, two years with the Emerge Boerne Board, and seven years with the Schreiner Former Students Association board. Outside of the boardroom setting, Sally has served as a Mission Committee Leader and Church Council Leader for Spring Creek United

Methodist Church, a Schreiner University alumni mentor and mentor for students at

Meadowlands Charter School in Boerne. Sally has participated in three separate SAGE International Guatemala Medical Mission Trips – in 2012, 2018 and 2019. She served as the mission trip team leader for Spring Creek United Methodist Church from 2013-2017. Currently Sally remains heavily involved with the Boerne YMCA. Additionally, Sally does in her full-time profession as a Volunteer Coordinator for Magdalena House.

To be eligible for this award, nominees must be a degreed alumnus of Schreiner University and meet the following criteria: Have graduated within the last 20 years, have a demonstrated history of intentionally living into their vocation within or outside of their primary profession, through volunteerism, service, or philanthropic activity have gone beyond standard professional and community expectations to engage in meaningful and selfless service for the betterment of their communities.

Nominations for the SFSA Next Generation Impact Award are generated internally, and the Schreiner Former Students Association reviews the nominations, narrowing it down to just a few every year.

For more information, please contact Micah Wrase at (830) 792-7206 or mkwrase@schreiner.edu.

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