EAST COUNTY — Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts awarded two $1,000 scholarships to local high school graduates Wednesday. This year’s recipients were Caden Vacek from Splendora High School and Calvin Wilson from New Caney High School.

In previous years, Judge Metts awarded only one scholarship that went to the winner of an essay contest judged by the JP4 staff. This year, however, Casey Ridge Civic Club donated $1,000 making a second scholarship possible.

Caden Vacek won the annual Essay Scholarship Contest, which was about improving his community. Caden’s essay stood out from the others because it had a personal and inspirational twist. Caden was in trouble a couple of years ago, and appeared before Judge Metts, just like thousands of other juveniles over the years. But Caden was different. Judge Metts gave him a copy of a poem he keeps on the bench and occasionally hands out to students he believes may benefit from it.

The poem is called “The Bottom Line” and speaks very bluntly about personal responsibility, with lines such as “You can change anything in your life if you want it badly enough,” and “Excuses are for losers. Those who take responsibility for their actions are the real winners in life.” The poem ends with the simple line, “Believe in yourself.”

Caden says he took the message to heart and the proof is in the results. Since his court appearance, Caden has become an exemplary student. Not only did he catch up with his class, Caden began taking college courses and earned 23 credits with a 3.8 GPA.

The second scholarship was presented to Calvin Wilson, who never missed one day of school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Judge Metts also recognized Calvin with a plaque and gift certificate at his annual fundraiser on May 19.

Judge Metts praised the efforts of both young men, Caden for turning his life around and Calvin for his dedication to school. He said Caden should be an example to others that a person can take control of their lives and responsibility for their future, regardless of their situation.

“What Caden did takes courage and a lot of hard work, but anyone can do it if they have a desire to succeed,” Judge Metts said. “I can’t express how proud I am to see what this young man has done for himself.”

“This is what it’s all about,” Judge Metts said. “This is why we work so hard to get through to these kids, and we don’t always succeed, but people like Caden Vacek are what motivate us to keep trying.”

Judge Metts also praised Calvin stressing the importance of attendance in all facets of life, especially employment.

“As an employer, I can tell you that attendance counts for a lot and it says a lot about who you are,” Judge Metts said. “It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how good you are at your job if don’t show up.”

The judge told Calvin he knew there were days when Calvin felt bad but managed to go to school anyway. Judge Metts said Calvin would succeed in life because he already proved he is responsible with a good work ethic.

Caden and Calvin received certificates along with their checks. They and their parents were treated to a cake and punch reception with the Judge and his staff.


The Bottom Line 

FACE IT! Nobody owes you a living.

What you achieve or fail to achieve in your lifetime is directly related to what you do- or fail to do.

No one chooses his parents or childhood, but you can choose your own direction.

Everyone has problems and obstacles to overcome, but that too is relative to each individual.


You can change anything in your life,  if you want to badly enough.

Excuses are for losers.

Those who take responsibility for their actions are the real winners in life.

Winners meet life challenges head on,  knowing there are no guarantees, and give it all they’ve got.

And never think it’s too late or too early to begin.

Time plays no favorites and will pass whether you act or not.


Dare to dream and take risks.


If you aren’t willing to work for your goals, don’t expect others to.

Believe in Yourself!




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