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DCCCD Honors Area Student Scholars, Leaders


Contact: Ann Hatch
Kathye Hammontree

For immediate release — Aug. 9, 2012
Editors’ note: Students’ hometowns (which are included in the biographical sketches) include Irving, Garland, Carrollton, Rowlett and Dallas.

(DALLAS) — In an era of negative news — when shootings, abuse and violence often fill the television screen every night — the unsung efforts of people who volunteer in their communities and quietly change other people’s lives, every day, often go unnoticed. Some of those unsung heroes are students in the Dallas County Community College District who demonstrate their ability to serve as role models because they are making a difference where they live and go to school.

Some have served as camp leaders, writers and photographers; others have volunteered their time at food banks, churches, homeless shelters and other places where their talents help children and adults alike. They have inspired other students, as well as DCCCD faculty, staff and administrators; as a result, eight students have been named 2012-2013 LeCroy Scholarship recipients by the DCCCD Foundation for their outstanding leadership and academic achievements.

The program honors DCCCD’s former chancellor, Dr. R. Jan LeCroy, who served in that capacity from 1981 to 1988. Students selected as LeCroy Scholars receive full tuition and books for up to four semesters. Selected DCCCD students receive full tuition and books per semester for the remaining period of their two-year program. All recipients may attend any one of the district’s seven colleges: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake or Richland.

The LeCroy Scholars fund was made possible by a grant established in 1988 by Mike A. Myers and the Mike Myers Foundation. A longtime Dallas business and civic leader, he provided funds to recognize LeCroy’s leadership; the program was the first major student recognition and incentive scholarship created for DCCCD. Myers currently is chairman and president of the Myers Financial Corp.

The scholarship recipients, the colleges they attend and their chosen fields of study are:

  • Cornelius Allen of Irving, El Centro College, computer science;
  • Laura Anne Farmer of Dallas, El Centro College, English;
  • Erica Furgeson of Garland, Brookhaven College, biology/radiology;
  • Tonychris Nnaka of Garland, Brookhaven College, nursing;
  • Fabiola Resendiz of Dallas, Eastfield College, criminal justice;
  • Tina Tip of Carrollton, Brookhaven College, human resources;
  • Annie Ruth Warth of Irving, El Centro College, art; and
  • Cody Wells of Rowlett, Eastfield College, architecture.

One other DCCCD student is a returning 2011-2012 LeCroy Scholar: Christian Ramirez.
Visit the DCCCD Foundation website to learn how to apply for a DCCCD LeCroy Scholarship.

For details, contact Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation office at (214) 378-1536.

(Biographical sketches for new LeCroy Scholars are provided below.)

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Dallas County Community College District
2012-2013 LeCroy Scholars
Biographical Sketches

New LeCroy Scholars

Cornelius Allen — Cornelius Allen, a resident of Irving, plans to earn a master’s degree in computer engineering. He holds an associate degree in science from El Centro College, where he graduated in 2011 as an Honors Scholar and where he currently is pursuing a degree in computer science. Allen, who has a grade point average of 3.22, is a member of the academic honorary for two-year colleges, Phi Theta Kappa; he served as PTK’s chapter president at El Centro College and recently completed a successful term as Texas regional president for 2011-2012. As chapter president, Allen planned for and increased annual membership by more than 10 percent by targeting recruitment efforts among the school’s general student body. He also founded the Sigma Tau Lecture Series, which brought student success expert Dr. Calvin Newport from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to El Centro. Allen was named to the Vice President’s Honor Roll several semesters when he was a full-time student. He plans to write a sociology book that will discuss how minorities can position themselves for real-world success. Allen wants to teach community college students about the fundamentals of success. He says, “As Texas regional president for Phi Theta Kappa, I have had the privilege of speaking at dozens of venues to thousands of students about the importance of leveraging a community college education. I want them to master a set of skills that will make them more attractive in this globalized economy and, more importantly, to create an engaging, satisfying career.”

Laura Anne Farmer — Dallas resident Laura Anne Farmer is a 2012 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. She plays the piano and French horn, and she enjoys sharing her love of music with young children. Farmer, who also loves classical literature, plans to use her passion for music and language to pursue an associate degree in English at El Centro College. She then plans to transfer to the University of Texas at Dallas to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech and language pathology. She says, “I will be able to use my background in education and leadership to change the lives of the speech-impaired — especially young children.” She has served her church in a number of capacities as a volunteer, including youth camp leader, class president of young women and chairperson of the District Youth Committee. One of seven siblings, she has been involved in child care for many years and began working this summer as an au pair (or nanny) for six children; she is providing structured activities, tutoring and lessons in piano and music theory. Her duties also include cooking meals and running errands. Farmer adds, “I am very thankful for this job opportunity because my employer understands the importance of education and will support me in earning my college degree.”

Erica Ferguson — Erica Ferguson, who lives in Garland, graduated from Naaman Forest High School in June 2012 and will attend Brookhaven College to major in biology/radiology. She was named a Distinguished Graduate based on four years of academic achievement, earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher throughout that time. Ferguson, a dual credit student, was a member of the National Honor Society and a member of her school’s regional academic decathlon team. She also served as section editor and primary photographer for two years on the high school yearbook staff; was an officer for two years in the National Spanish Honor Society; and worked as a lead waitress and post-shift task assignment coordinator for groups and parties. Ferguson plans to apply in spring 2013 to Brookhaven’s radiologic sciences program. “After I complete the radiologic sciences program, I plan to work as a radiologic technologist for several years and to obtain a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas,” she explains. Community service also is important to Ferguson, who has been involved in an organization called the Buddy League in which the buddies (like Ferguson) assist disabled children and help them to experience playing baseball. “Buddy League has taught me compassion and how community service does as much for the volunteer as the one receiving help,” she adds.

Tonychris Nnaka — Brookhaven College nursing major Tonychris Nnaka plans to complete his Associate in Applied Sciences degree and then transfer to the University of Texas at Arlington to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The Garland resident eventually wants to become a doctor after he finishes medical school. When he started classes at Brookhaven College, Nnaka decided to get involved in the Student Government Association so that he could meet students and develop leadership skills. In that capacity, he has served as Senate speaker, vice president and Senate president, as well as chair of the Texas Junior College Student Government Association’s legislative committee. In conjunction with his SGA work, he has volunteered his time for community service projects, including two Angel Tree programs (for Children’s Medical Center and the Family Place), North Texas Food Bank projects and a church food pantry program. Nnaka says that his family, who lives in Africa, “has sold almost all of their valuables since the death of my father in order to support me abroad.” His LeCroy Scholarship will help him concentrate on his studies and pay his tuition. “My involvement at my college and in my community has shown me the responsibilities it takes to be a leader and has helped me realize how important teamwork is. I believe I have a purpose, and that purpose is to serve others by being a great leader,” says Nnaka. He also is a member of the academic honorary Phi Theta Kappa and has been nominated as the Brookhaven College 2012 Student of the Year.

Fabiola Resendiz — Dallas resident Fabiola Resendiz is the first member of her family to graduate from high school (Bryan Adams) and the first to go to college. She plans to earn an associate degree in criminal justice from Eastfield College, where she’s currently enrolled, and then transfer to the University of North Texas to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and pre-law. Eventually, Resendiz hopes to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice, attend law school and practice family law. At Adams High School, she was a member of the Girls’ Concert Choir, Varsity and Show Choir, the theater’s technical crew and the Tri-M Musical Honor Society. At Eastfield, she has earned a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the academic honorary Phi Theta Kappa. She also serves as a member of the House of Representatives for Eastfield’s Student Government Association; chair of the financial aid committee; member of the campus activities board; and a member of the Criminal Justice Club and the Math Club. Resendiz helps with campus club fundraisers; she also provides campus tours as an Eastfield HarveSTAR (student leader) and is involved with all new-student orientations. A recipient of the Amidon/Beauchamp Student Leader of the Year Award in 2012, Resendiz works as a private tutor to help pay for college and assist her mother. “The only thing I want and truly desire is to continue my education because I know I can do it, and I know I can succeed,” she says.

Tina Tip — A 2012 graduate of Newman Smith High School and a dual credit student, Tina Tip describes herself as an optimist who always looks for the glass that’s half full. She also believes that one of Newton’s laws — which says “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an outside (or unbalanced) force” — also describes who she is and how she wants to live life. “I’m that outside force,” says Tip, who will attend Brookhaven College this fall. Her plans include earning an associate degree, transferring to a four-year university and interning at TOMS Shoes during her senior year. She plans to work in human resources and to pursue a graduate degree in business administration or industrial/organizational psychology. In high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, received the Principal’s Academic Commendation Award and was among the top 20 graduates from Newman Smith. Tip also completed a 300-hour internship at Essilor Inc. in human resources and was a member of several student organizations, including DELA (in which she served as an officer all four years), the INTERACT Club (as co-publicist, vice president and president) and the International Business Academy. The Carrollton resident says, “My father taught me ... that effective leaders view things as ‘what they could be.’ That revelation has reverberated through my mind and my heart since my first exposure to it. That’s exactly how I want to live life.”

Annie Ruth “Candy” Warth — Annie Ruth Warth, a resident of Irving, has earned a 4.0 GPA at El Centro College, where she is pursuing an associate degree in art. A member of the academic honorary Phi Theta Kappa, Warth currently teaches art as a paraprofessional to elementary school students. Her career goals include continuing to teach art — possibly at the post-secondary level — as well as continuing to create artwork “for the pure pleasure of it while encouraging others to be creative, too.” Warth and her husband serve as elders at their church, where they also teach membership classes. She describes her current college experience this way: “When I stepped out onto this road approximately two years ago, my desire was to obtain a firmer foundation that would increase knowledge and incorporate newfound ideas into my current work. What I discovered (in Drawing 1) was an absolute love of the process of creation.” The nontraditional student adds, “The sky’s the limit. I am making the grade: establishing myself as an artist, creating images for the pure pleasure of it and basking in the delight of the inspiration and joy I see on the faces of people who view my work.” Those experiences have prompted Warth to complete her associate degree and consider graduate work as well.

Cody Wells — Eagle Scout Cody Wells, who graduated from Rowlett High School this spring, will start his career in higher education at Eastfield College in the fall. Wells, who plans to major in architecture, lives in Rowlett and earned a high school GPA of 3.21. At Rowlett High School, he took AP and Pre-AP classes all four years, was a member of the bowling team for four years and performed almost 330 hours of community service. He has earned both the Bronze and Silver Palm as an Eagle Scout and was a senior patrol leader. He also was involved in the National Youth Leadership Training program and was president of Venture Crew 1020 (both are Scout programs). Once he finishes his degree at Eastfield College, he would like to study either architecture and project management or marine architecture and business. He says, “I think my leadership experience will help me with my project management goal and assist me, one day, in having my own architecture business.”

Returning LeCroy Scholar

Christian Ramirez — Dallas resident and 2011 Skyline High School graduate Christian Ramirez attends Richland College. In high school, Ramirez was a member of the National Honor Society and an NHS Scholars nominee; he also participated in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center HPREP program. Ramirez has been deeply involved in church activities, where he has served as the leader of a Bible discussion group and a mentor for the Saturday Academy Mentoring Program, and has gone on mission trips as well. He also has been a community volunteer, serving as a mentor for underprivileged children at the Larry Johnson Recreation Center in south Dallas. He ministered once a month to the poor and homeless for the DFW Homeless Outreach Program (in conjunction with the Main Street Church of Christ). He is employed by American Eagle Outfitters and plans to pursue a career in medicine so that he can become a cardiologist and work at the best hospitals in Dallas. “I have worked very hard on my academics because I know, in my heart, that it will be worth all of the time and effort I have put in over the years,” says Ramirez.

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