Current Article

For immediate release — Aug. 16, 2011

(DALLAS) — Tomorrow’s leaders are already practicing how to lead today, and 10 Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) students have been named this year’s LeCroy Scholars in recognition of their developing leadership skills.

Named for Dr. R. Jan LeCroy, the second chancellor of DCCCD who served from 1981 to 1988, the scholarship awards $1,000 per semester to students each year to attend any one of DCCCD’s seven colleges: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake or Richland. The scholarship may be extended to recipients for up to four semesters, or a total of $4,000.

The LeCroy Scholars Program was created as a permanent endowment in 1988 by DCCCD Foundation board member Mike Myers to recognize the former chancellor’s exemplary leadership in education and within the community, and was the first major student recognition and incentive scholarship created for the community college district. Myers, a long-time Dallas business and civic leader, currently is chairman and president of Myers Financial Corp.

Scholarship recipients must be high school graduates and current or prospective DCCCD students; exemplify outstanding leadership in academic, church or community-based activities; and maintain a B average in their college courses. They are selected on the basis of an essay describing their demonstrated leadership and academic abilities, along with a letter of recommendation from a teacher, by Jan LeCroy and Mike Myers, who also mentor the students.

This academic year’s new LeCroy scholars, their DCCCD colleges and intended majors, are:

  • Laura Hill of Dallas, Eastfield College, biology
  • Daniel Marold of Dallas, Brookhaven College, business administration
  • Tabeth Nkangoh of Balch Springs, Richland College, economics
  • Savanna Noska of Mesquite, Eastfield College, cinematography
  • Dalia Requejo of Dallas, Eastfield College, engineering/math
  • Tragan Knight of Dallas, Eastfield College, aerospace engineering

Four other DCCCD students are returning LeCroy scholars:

  • Saile Estrada of Farmers Branch, Brookhaven College, sociology
  • Ana Juarez of Carrollton, Brookhaven College, civil engineering
  • Thong H. Luong of Dallas, Richland College, kinesiology
  • Lacey Wells of Rowlett, Eastfield College, education

For more information, contact Kathye Hammontree, DCCCD Foundation director of board and donor relations, at 214-378-1536, or Eddie Miranda, DCCCD Foundation director of marketing and communications, at 214-378-1541.


Biographical Sketches of 2011-2012 DCCCD LeCroy Scholars

New LeCroy Scholars

Laura Hill • Dallas • Eastfield College • Biology

Eastfield College student Laura Hill plans to complete her associate degree with a science major in the spring of 2012, then transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology. Short-term career goals include volunteering at an herbarium to prepare for a career in botany research. She volunteers as a lab assistant in Eastfield’s Microscopy Lab, where she helps with research and maintaining the scanning electron microscropes, and is an active member in the college’s Science Club. She is a National Science Foundation Scholar and DCCCD STEM Student Support Award recipient, as well as a President’s Honor Roll student at Eastfield, where she maintains a 4.0 GPA. A certified black belt in tae kwon do, she instructs adults and children at several area schools. “Recently, I submitted a robotics research assignment to NASA in hopes of being accepted into their program,” she says.

Daniel Marold • Dallas • Brookhaven College • Business Administration

Currently working toward an associate degree in Business Administration at Brookhaven College, where he maintains a 4.0 GPA, Daniel Marold wants to continue his education by earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a law degree with the career goal of becoming an attorney. While captain of the cheerleading team at Jesuit Preparatory High School, Marold was severely injured trying to catch a falling teammate and went through brain surgery and a prolonged recovery before entering Brookhaven in fall 2009. He has served as student body president of Brookhaven College’s Student Government Association and as a youth presenter for Circle Ten Council National Youth Leadership of the Boy Scouts of America. An Eagle Scout, he served as a Boy Scout National Youth Leadership trainer in China in summer 2010. At Brookhaven, he is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the academic honor society for two-year colleges, and has received the Amidon/Beauchamp Memorial Award for Student Leader of the Year. “I am finally back to the person I was,” he says two years after brain surgery. “Once again, I am doing what I am meant to be doing. I have been tried by challenges and tested by pain, and I have emerged a leader.”

Tabeth Nkangoh • Balch Springs • Richland College • Economics

Tabeth Beni-Aristin Nkangoh, a Richland College student, dreams of creating a nonprofit humanitarian organization to make the world a better place. He has raised money for charity in the college’s Business Honors Association and in the Student Government Association for Red Cross relief efforts after the tsunami in Japan, and represented Richland in Austin at a conference for Phi Theta Kappa, the academic honor society for two-year colleges. Parliamentarian of Brookhaven’s student government and chair of the Legislative Committee for Student Government Region II, he is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Math Club. A math tutor for Group Excellence, he is developing a website for student volunteer opportunities at Richland, is employed at Dollar Tree and has received Project Finish Line and George Dawson “Hold Fast to Dreams” scholarships. He maintains a 3.88 GPA. “With this scholarship, the money and benefits that it will provide will lessen my workload at my place of work, allowing me to focus that much more energy into giving back to the school and community,” he says. “To me, that is what being a LeCroy Scholar is all about.”

Savanna Noska • Mesquite • Eastfield College • Cinematography

An Eastfield College student with a 4.0 GPA, Savanna Noska dreams of earning a bachelor’s degree in cinematography and traveling the world to exercise her creative passion for photography. Graduating in three years from high school at the age of 16, she made straight As her first semester of college, even with a heavy academic load of 18 credit hours. She teaches 2 year olds in Sunday school at her church, has served as a junior counselor at church camp and a leader in Vacation Bible School, and offers computer tutorials to senior citizens. She also serves as head receptionist-trainer at her workplace, Hands on Therapy. When her family hosted a foreign exchange student last year, she helped with homework translation and English grammar, as well as transportation to school and other activities. “There are so many statistics that show that kids who do not further their education end up on the wrong path,” she says. “Instead of becoming a statistic, I strive and work my hardest to be the best leader I can be across all domains of my life. Overall, my leadership experiences have helped me to help myself as well as other people.”

Dalia Requejo • Dallas • Eastfield College • Engineering/Math

Dalia Requejo, currently working on an associate degree with an emphasis in math and maintaining a GPA of 3.3 at Eastfield College, plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas and complete teacher’s certification with the goal of teaching high school math. A senator for the college’s Student Government Association, she is also founder and president of Eastfield’s LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) chapter. Recipient of a scholarship from the Hispanic Education Initiative, she volunteers as a Sunday school teacher for elementary school-aged children and also as a youth leader for the Women’s Missionary Union of Texas. She has served as an assistant teacher for Head Start day care. “A leader is a person who has vision, who has a drive and commitment toward the fulfillment of that vision, and the skills to make it happen,” she says. “I want to be able to help and inspire a new and different generation.”

Tragan Knight • Dallas • Eastfield College • Aerospace Engineering

Eastfield student Tragan Knight is the sole financial provider in his family, working two part-time jobs that add up to 45 hours a week in addition to his full-time college studies. Committed to mentoring other low-income, first-generation-to-college students, he serves as a member of the college’s TRIO Student Support Services program and also works as a Wal-Mart associate. He has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, the Greater Senior Source and Frontiers of Flight Museum, as well as assisting with youth activities in his church. In his sophomore year of high school, he interned with ExxonMobil Corp. as an environmental ambassador, where he developed a passion for math, science and engineering and was named 2008 outstanding intern ambassador. Also a DCCCD STEM Student Support Award scholar, he maintains a 3.56 GPA in college while working full time. “With a doctorate in aerospace and environmental engineering, I want to develop a cost-effective source of energy to lessen carbon emissions in earth’s atmosphere,” he says. “I have made that choice as a leader, and I will continue to stand by that choice until I attain my goals.”

Returning LeCroy Scholars

Saile Estrada • Farmers Branch • Brookhaven College • Sociology

Saile Estrada attends Brookhaven College, where she is majoring in sociology with a GPA of 3.62. Also interested in graphic design, she is actively involved in Brookhaven’s Student Government Association and is a Six-Star Leadership member. Estrada is a certified soccer coach for the Special League, coaching 18-to-30-year-old adults who have disabilities. She also has medaled and earned trophies in tae kwon do and served as a demonstration team member for Master Kim’s World Class Tae Kwon Do. One of her lifelong goals is to create a foundation for children who live in developing countries so they can have the same educational opportunities she has had. “My goal is to be able to define myself through my experiences and to begin a career where I can make a difference in the lives of many people,” she says.

Ana Juarez • Carrollton • Brookhaven College • Civil Engineering

Brookhaven College student Ana Juarez plans to become a civil engineer. At R.L. Turner High School, she helped create a program to reduce the high school dropout rate; she also was an active member of the National Honor Society and the mathematics honorary Mu Alpha Theta, and served as a volunteer for the DFW chapter of the Marine Corps Reserves’ Toys for Tots program. Raised in a close-knit family who emigrated from Guatemala and struggled to make ends meet, Ana follows in the footsteps of two older sisters, Liz and Pamela, who were also DCCCD LeCroy Scholars. Both have gone on to pursue degrees at area universities, and Ana, who wants to serve as a role model for young girls, plans to walk that path too. “Education is the key to a successful and better life,” she says. “All of my life I’ve known that I’m capable of achieving everything I put my mind to and that despite all of the adversities of life, your dreams can come true as long as you have faith and drive.” Juarez maintains a 4.0 GPA at Brookhaven College.

Thong H. Luong • Dallas • Richland College • Kinesiology

Kinesiology major Thong H. Luong attends Richland College, where he maintains a 3.8 GPA. At J.J. Pearce High School, he was captain of the varsity wrestling team and volunteered his time as a Vacation Bible School group leader. He was a Mustang Star, earned a varsity letter and other awards in wrestling, and was involved in the Junior Achievement program. He and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was 13, and his mother worked 14-hour days to help her family make ends meet. Remembering that time, he says, “Now I want to return something to her in the future by getting a college degree.” He did not become a serious scholar until his senior year in high school, when he found motivation in the Bible. Luong, who hopes to become a physical therapist, adds, “I can change my future, and I’m looking forward to that day.”

Lacey Wells • Rowlett • Eastfield College • Education

Lacey Wells attends Eastfield College and maintains a GPA of 3.76 in her major of education, with a career goal of combining education and fashion by bringing fashion electives to middle school students. A 2010 graduate of Rowlett High School, Wells participated in the school’s Elementary Teaching Internship program, won the 2008-2009 Outstanding Student of the Year Award – Apparel and participated in Family Career Community Leadership of America. Wells also has been involved in Venturing, a youth development program sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women ages 14 to 21. Wells served as secretary, vice president of programs, treasurer and two terms as president of her Venturing Crew. “I think it is important to know how to lead. It has allowed me to see things in a different way,” she says.

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Press contact: Kathye Hammontree • 214-378-1536 • or
Eddie Miranda • 214-378-1541 •