Student Achievements: Three to Celebrate

1.  A Project for the Birds

Want to spend 100-degree weather outside building a structure? A group of boys led by Boy Scout Nicholas Meadows of Highland Parks Troop 82 did just that. The teens completed a 16- by 20- by 12-foot bird enclosure for the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Hutchins. It’s the largest youth-built structure at the center.

2.  Youngest Entrepreneur?

Daniel Fuqua

Daniel Fuqua knows what children want, and his age has something to do with that. The 6-year-old kindergartener at University Park Elementary began selling toys out of his father’s store in Snider Plaza at age 5.

“Girls like unicorns and mermaids and boys like dinosaurs and trucks,” said Daniel, who selects the toy inventory at Plaza Health Foods, where funny animal hats proved a top seller.

The toy venture began after he surprisingly rang up an $80 sale one day after helping a customer pick out children’s vitamins by showing her the ones he takes.

Like other merchants, Daniel saw business slow because of COVID-19, but not enough to keep him from achieving nearly $1,000 in sales, his father, Max Fuqua, said.

Daniel plans to share profits with the University Park Police Department, who will get a $100 check.

“They are the ones who keep us safe from the bad guys,” the boy said.

3.  First Lady Love

Maggie Bengtson

Bird and Bush loving Hyer Elementary School second-grader Maggie Bengtson enjoyed an unforgettable summer, her mother, Kristin Bengtson, tells Park Cities People.

Maggie, wanting to give back to the Dallas Audubon and increase her ornithology knowledge, started a summer business, Texas Birds Treats. She sold 83 birdseed feeders she made in the shape of the state of Texas for $5 and donated half of the $415 in sales to the Dallas Audubon.

She also got a handwritten thank you note from Laura Bush after sending the former first lady a gift.

“My mom told me how much Mrs. Bush likes nature just like me,” Maggie said. “I wanted to send her a few of my treats for her backyard birds.”

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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