* HOUSTON* – Reliant Energy today announced the eight Houston-area high school student athletes who will each receive a $1,000 scholarship as part of the company's **Scholarship for Champions – Building Strong Minds and Bodies program.
**"Each scholarship recipient has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills academically and athletically," said Glen Stancil, Reliant Energy vice president, Houston Residential Markets. "We are excited to help these eight deserving student athletes achieve the goals they have set out to accomplish on and off the field."
The scholarship recipients are: Kevin Ayres, Aldine High School; William Boettcher, Pearland High School; Kristie Chin, Cinco Ranch High School; Jordan Godwin, Hull Daisetta High School; Elissa Loynes, Clear Creek High School; Jarrett Simien, Booker T. Washington High School; Jared Smith, Barbers Hill High School; and Taylor Surles, Stratford High School.
The scholarship recipients were selected by Reliant Energy and the Houston Texans Youth Advisory Council – a group of local community leaders and high school administrators and coaches. Each recipient had to be in good academic standing and display leadership and ethics to be consider for the scholarship.
Each scholarship recipient will have an opportunity to participate in a pre-game on field presentation at a Texans game during the season and will be honored at the Houston Football Dinner in early 2007, where Houston Texans players, as well as college and high school football players are recognized. The event is sponsored by the Touchdown Club of Houston.
**Bios of the Reliant Energy Scholarship for Champions Recipients
**Ayres grew up in Houston's Acres Homes community, where he began his athletic involvement at the Garden City Branch of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club. Ayres plays football and runs track for Aldine High School in Houston. He also spends time volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club teaching young kids the fundamentals of football.
Boettcher is a part of the Pearland High School football team, where he is anchor of the offensive line. He is president of both the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society, the first student at the school to hold both offices in the same year.
**Chin is the starting pitcher on the softball team and starting defensive specialist on the volleyball team at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas. Chin was voted co-captain of the softball team and named the 19-5A Most Valuable Player last year. She also is a member of the National Honor Society.
Godwin **plays center for the Hull-Daisetta High School basketball team in Daisetta, Texas, and has played varsity basketball since his freshmen year. Godwin also runs cross country and track, and plays on the tennis team. He is president of the student council and the senior class.
Loynes is a **member of the Clear Creek High School varsity volleyball and soccer teams in League City, Texas. She is a two-year varsity starter on the varsity volleyball team and was voted second team all-district and all-academic team. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Peer Assistance Leadership and Young Life.
Simien is a three-year member of the Booker T. Washington High School football team in Houston, where he plays linebacker and serves as team captain. Simien is a member of the National Honor Society, serves as an algebra tutor and is currently involved in the NANO Technology student internship at Rice University.
**Smith is the starting wide receiver on the varsity football team at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Smith competes with cystic fibrosis, a recessive genetic disorder affecting the mucus lining of the lungs. He runs track for Barbers Hill High School and was district champion in the 100-meter dash.
**Surles is a varsity tennis player at Stratford High School and has been elected team captain for the 2006-2007 season. Surles was selected Most Improved and Most Valuable Player in previous seasons. Surles is on target to graduate as the school's valedictorian and is the co-leader of the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes program.
About the Houston Texans Youth Advisory Council: The mission of the Houston Texans Youth Advisory Council is to help the Houston Texans organization create and maintain the finest youth football outreach and development program in the National Football League.
About Reliant Energy, Inc.: Reliant Energy, Inc. (NYSE: RRI), based in Houston, provides electricity and energy services to retail and wholesale customers in the United States. In Texas, the company provides service to approximately 1.9 million retail electricity customers, including residential and small business customers and large commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers.
Reliant also serves commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers in the PJM (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland) market.
The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the nation with approximately 16,000 megawatts of power generation capacity across the United States. These strategically located generating assets utilize natural gas, fuel oil and coal. For more information, visit http://www.reliant.com/corporate.