Rebecca “Becky” Trevino Lee was a loving daughter and wife, caring mother, devoted student and professor of history, and an innovative educator, author, and mentor. A lifelong Houstonian, Becky graduated high school from Klein Forest and completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of St. Thomas (UST), where she met and married her husband, Anthony Lee. Becky has responded to the call by Our Father on November 13, 2019 at age 37.
Becky considered UST not just a university for six years, but a lifelong sanctuary with which she could associate herself and help fellow students of history just as much as how her professors did during her time there. This is why she pursued and earned not just a Bachelor’s of Arts in History, but also a Master’s in Liberal Arts in History from UST. UST meant so much to her that she married Anthony at the Chapel of St. Basil. After her approximately six years at UST, she continued her involvement through teaching undergraduate history classes as an adjunct professor. She made UST her home from the first moment she stepped on campus to the last moments when she vowed her return to teaching as soon as she was able.
Becky was an invaluable asset to everyone and every organization with which she was associated. She joined the Firat Education team in 2011 and has since clocked over 500 hours of tutorials with our students in subjects related to history, English Language Arts, Spanish, and SAT, ACT, and ISEE. More importantly, Becky listened to our students’ concerns and fears, and offered solutions to them; she became a mentor and older sister, not just an educator or tutor, to them. To children and young adults whose ages ranged from 9 to 19 years old, that meant the whole world and turned into results in higher grades and test scores almost immediately.
In 2013, Becky has developed Vocabulary Workshops for Firat Education’s 7th and 8th grade students, in a small group setting, in order to succeed on the ISEE test. Firat Education has been a one-on-one academic and test support system from its inception, but Becky had seen a consistent gap in each individual student she was working with as they lacked certain vocabulary skills. Instead of teaching the same vocabulary content to each individual student — thus potentially using time inefficiently — she developed a program where a small group came together and related the ISEE vocabulary content to “pop culture” so that her students better learn and remember the words. Becky’s innovative approach to test prep yielded some perfect scores in vocabulary section of the ISEE test for her students.
Becky also developed a program for our juniors and seniors in high school where they came together in a roundtable setting with college admissions representatives and had open discussions. We called them Admissions Roundtables. These roundtables actually helped some “borderline” seniors get accepted to the colleges of their dreams, because they had the personal touch from the admissions representatives. These roundtables became so hot so quickly that we actually had colleges reaching out wanting to schedule with us, rather than the other way around. Becky was an outside the box thinker and executer.
In 2014, Becky helped research, write, and edit Firat Education’s first publication, The Firat Guide, which helps families of middle school students in their choice to find the best fit high school. While there were tens or hundreds of students who directly benefited from Becky’s work at Firat Education, her research and authorship have helped thousands of families and students in the Houston area through The Firat Guide.
Becky’s life has been about vital links: family, friends, History, UST, Firat Education, and lives she has positively impacted. By offering this $1000 scholarship through Firat Education for a current UST undergraduate student of history, we are creating an unbreakable bond among these vital links of Becky’s life into a cause that we believe she would love being named after.
The recipient of the 2020 Becky Lee Memorial Scholarship will be announced on March 1, 2020, and his or her family will attend an intimate award dinner with the owners of Firat Education, the Lee Family, and UST leadership after spring break 2020.