Two aspiring meteorologists who grew up in North Texas are the 2016 Harold Taft Scholarship winners.
Ashley Pratt and Erica Lopez both attend the University of Oklahoma but spent their high school careers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Pratt decided she wanted to be a meteorologist in middle school. Pratt writes a weather blog for a Purcell, Oklahoma newspaper and interned for KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.
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Post-graduation, Pratt intends to become a broadcast meteorologist.
Lopez grew up in Ennis. She was unsure of what to do as a meteorologist until a large tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma in May of 2013. Nine of the 24 people who died were Hispanic.
According to Lopez, Oklahoma City did not have a Spanish speaking certified broadcast meteorologist at the time of the tornado. She is now deterimined to deliver weather on Spanish language newscasts after graduation.
Lopez has already interned at the Telemundo affiliate in Oklahoma City.
The Harold Taft Scholarship is named after Harold Taft, NBC 5's first chief meteorologist.
Past winners include Jorge Torres, chief meteorologist at KOB-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Mandy Bailey, meteorologist at KSWO-TV in Wichita Falls, Texas; and Meagan Massey, meteorologist at KCEN-TV in Temple, Texas.