Star of ABC's "Forever" and Jonesboro High School graduate gives first scholarships in memory of his sister
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Actor Donnie Keshawarz remembered his sister, Roxanne Keshawarz Cousins, by awarding a scholarship bearing her name. The star of ABC's “Forever,” appearing on Tuesday nights, graduated from Jonesboro High School. His sister did, as well.
However, Roxanne died of ovarian cancer two years ago. The Arkansas State and Jonesboro High School graduate was remembered with two scholarships.
The first scholarship began with the Craighead County Community Foundation. Friends wanted to honor Roxanne. It was endowed a little over a year ago. Then, her brother, Donnie, provided some large, last minute donations to make the second scholarship possible.
Donnie Keshawarz made the scholarship presentations to Gabe Looney and Daisy Doty on Monday at Jonesboro High School.
The JHS seniors were involved in drama and choir, just as Roxanne was when she graduated in 1990.
Looney and Doty each received $1,500 scholarships. Donnie sat in on the student interviews via FaceTime. The selection committee was also made up of people who knew Roxanne.
Looney has designed numerous sets for plays at JHS, and plans to major in technical theater at ASU.
"He has continuously shown kindness and compassion to others in his JHS drama family," said Dawn Tucker, the drama teacher at JHS. "He has given rides to people in rehearsals when they couldn't make it, provided food to people, and has been a humble behind-the-scenes miracle stage manager and builder for JHS drama."
Doty has consistently performed in choir and drama at JHS, much like Roxanne.
"She feels strongly about body image positivity, especially for girls, but not limited to girls," said Tucker. "She embodies the all-inclusive beliefs that Roxanne had toward everyone." She plans to major in vocal performance with a minor in Women's History and Gender Studies at ASU.
Roxanne was known to her friends as "Rocky." She went on to become an occupational therapist and made her home in Jonesboro, married to Brad Cousins. They have one son, 15-year-old Ethan.
"She was a beautiful person and a wonderful friend," said Susan Gibson Light, one of the organizers of the scholarship. Light says donations are still needed for the scholarship.
As for Roxanne's famous brother, Donnie, he has made guest appearances on "Law and Order," "24," "Lost," "Sex and the City," "Hack" and "Homeland." He had a recurring role on the HBO series, "The Sopranos." Right now, he appears as the Detective Hanson on ABC's "Forever."
The actor and his sister grew up in Jonesboro. Both studied under former JHS drama instructor, Keith Salter.
Donnie Keshawarz, a native Canadian, now makes his home with his family in New York City.