Students chase down collegiate pursuits fueled by scholarships and the transformative power of long-distance running. 

HOUSTON, TX – The Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF) provides $30,000 in collegiate scholarships to three exceptional high school seniors who have demonstrated a passion for running and academic excellence.

James Hayden Price (Bridgeland High School, University of Texas), Jessica Bilewski (Fulshear High School, Texas A&M) and Alexandra Maglaras (Bellaire High School, Baylor University) will each receive $10,000 over the next four years to assist them in their undergraduate studies.

Townes Pressler, the newly appointed President of the Houston Marathon Foundation Board of Directors, expressed his excitement by stating, “I’m enthusiastic about the Houston Marathon Foundation Scholarship award because it rewards leadership, determination, drive, and academic achievement, as well as serious commitment to competitive running.  I strongly believe in the sport of running as an encourager to a healthy lifestyle, and encouraging young people in the sport can be a lifetime game changer.”

In 2015, the HMF began awarding scholarships to high school cross country runners who embody leadership, generosity, and a volunteer spirit. The HMF has awarded $290,000 in scholarship funds to students from the Greater Houston Region to-date.

James Hayden Price, who will be attending the University of Texas this fall, reflected on the impact of running on his life: “Running has given me the ability to balance school life, personal life, and my ambitions. It has helped me streamline my life, and this scholarship will help my family alleviate the financial burden of tuition, allowing me to focus on my studies.”

James’ achievements include being a varsity captain of the boys cross country, a strong academic record ranking in the top 4% of his class, alongside various jobs and volunteer posts that have filled his summers and spare time.

Jessica Bilewski, a graduate of Fulshear High School who will be attending Texas A&M University, shared her thoughts: “Running is hard, but that’s the fun part because you get better through pushing your limits. It makes me feel proud when I overcome any obstacle. This scholarship and running will help me persevere through the challenges ahead.”

Jessica’s notable achievements include varsity positions in cross country and track, leadership roles such as Medical Terminology Class President, and participation in various clubs including a leadership role as a volunteer Traditional Polish dance performer. Her dedication to her sport and community makes her a deserving recipient of this scholarship.

Alexandra Maglaras, heading to Baylor University, spoke about the sense of community running has provided her saying, “Running has given me a great sense of belonging and has taught me to value close friendships over large groups. During the pandemic, my family, therapy and running helped me manage my anxiety, and it continues to be a source of strength and leadership as I enter college.”

Alexandra’s high school accomplishments include being a varsity captain for cross country and soccer, founding the Greek Club at Bellaire High School, and holding leadership positions in various organizations. Her resilience and commitment to community-building highlight her as an outstanding scholarship recipient.

The Houston Marathon Foundation is excited to support these young athletes as they pursue their higher education, running and life goals. We believe in the transformative power of running and are proud to invest in the future of these remarkable individuals year over year.

For students interested in applying for the HMF scholarship next year, the application process will be open September 3rd, 2024, and close March 30th, 2025. More information can be found on the HMF scholarships as well as other HMF initiatives by visiting

About Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF) – Founded in 2007, the HMF is a community organization that serves the greater Houston area through program management and support of local youth initiatives promoting long-distance running as an element of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. The HMF has awarded $290,000 year-to-date in scholarships for local high school graduates and funded the training for over 5,000 students ranging from elementary to high school through the We Run Houston after-school program supporting at-risk youth. Students and program beneficiaries of the HMF participate in the Houston Marathon Weekend of Events in January annually. In addition to the scholarship and after-school running program, the HMF has provided hands-only CPR training in the running community, supported regional trail and park projects, and funded the training for aspiring U.S. elite professional long-distance runners.