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Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — July 29, 2013

(DALLAS) — Twelve area Dallas County Community College District students are people you can depend on to succeed; they demonstrate community leadership, a strong sense of purpose, a deep work ethic and clear educational goals. They have potential. They are determined, and as a result, each has received the 2012-2013 Muse Scholarship, beginning this fall.

The new recipients are:

  • Mabel Balceros of Richardson, a nursing major at El Centro College;
  • Quy Le of Dallas, a chemical engineering major at Richland College;
  • Hector Martinez of Garland, a business major at Richland College;
  • Carly Mauldin of Roby, a fashion marketing major at El Centro College;
  • Ryan Newman of Dallas, a music major at Richland College; and
  • Guadalupe Zamorano of Carrollton, a nursing major at Brookhaven College.

Recipients are selected on the basis of their leadership potential, determination to succeed, focused educational goals and work ethic, along with proven leadership skills and academic achievement.

Created and funded by longtime DCCCD Foundation supporters Lyn and John Muse of Dallas, the Muse Scholarship Program fully supports each recipient’s costs in college — including tuition, books and additional fees — to meet the requirements of either the certification program or degree plan in which the student is enrolled. Students may receive the Muse Scholarship for up to six consecutive semesters.

“Determination and potential are key characteristics we look for in our Muse scholars,” said Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., DCCCD chancellor and a mentor for students in this program. “Lyn and John Muse believe in those traits, as well as a strong work ethic and clear educational goals. Each recipient exhibits those characteristics, and we are excited to have them as students at the colleges in our district. They are future leaders, and we hope to help them reach their educational and professional goals.”

Six Muse scholars who attended a DCCCD college in 2012-2013 are returning this fall:

  • Mussie Abraha Abed of Richardson, a nursing major who attends El Centro College;
  • Ernesto Banuelos of Irving, a North Lake College student who is studying both business administration and engineering;
  • Martha Barajas of Garland, also a nursing major at El Centro College;
  • Courtney Belcher of Mesquite, who is studying nursing at both El Centro and Eastfield colleges;
  • Chukwuka John Umeojiako of Addison, who is majoring in psychology at Brookhaven College; and
  • Stephan Sawin of Glenn Heights, a business major at Mountain View College.

Student biographical sketches are found below; for more information, contact Kathye Hammontree with the DCCCD Foundation at (214) 378-1536.

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Dallas County Community College District
2013-2014 Muse Scholarship Recipients
Biographical Sketches

photo of Mabel BalcerosMabel Balceros — Mabel Balceros, a 2013 graduate of Richardson High School, earned a 3.7 grade point average and was involved in a number of activities, including: the Golden Eagle Band (2009-2010); the Health Science Magnet (2009-2013); the 2010 HOSA competition in physical therapy; the Environmental Club (2011-2013); the Interact Club (2012-2013); and the school yearbook (staff photographer, 2012-2013). She also has volunteered her time at St. Paul Church for its 2012 “Spooktacular” and a bake sale in 2011; participated in a JDRF Walk (for juvenile diabetes) in 2011; and was involved in an Eagle Scouts project in 2013. Balceros is bilingual; plays volleyball and basketball; enjoys reading, singing, dancing and doing activities outdoors; and has experience providing child care for several families after school and on weekends. As she starts her studies at El Centro College in fall 2013 to become a nurse, Mabel will use dual credits she earned through Richland College to earn an associate degree and then transfer to a university, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in her field. Balceros considers herself to be “responsible, confident and well-organized.” She adds, “Doing community service is something I truly enjoy because I love helping others, and going to all sorts of places and doing all sorts of different tasks is really fun.”

photo of Quy Le Quy Le — Quy Le, a resident of Dallas who attends Richland College, is majoring in chemical engineering. He plans to earn an associate degree in science from Richland, a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in petroleum engineering. He works as a student assistant in the biology lab at Richland and has a 4.0 GPA. Active in many activities on campus, Le is a senator in the college’s Student Government Association; a college representative for the Richland Connections Club; and a member of the Leadership Richland series team, the Future Extremist Engineers Club and the Baptist Student Ministry Club. He also is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the national academic honor society for two-year colleges, and he volunteers his time as a mathematics/physics/chemistry tutor for the Richland College TRIO student support services program. An international student from Vietnam, Le says, “I am always curious and interested in figuring out how things work and learning to solve problems in life logically.” He adds, “I always try to stretch myself in different aspects of life by actively taking part in various extracurricular activities on campus. Finally, I set clear goals and high standards for myself. I try to do my best in every endeavor and take pride in my work.”

photo of Hector Martinez Hector Martinez — Garland resident Hector Martinez says his view of the world is: “Why should you become content with just average?” He doesn’t. The 2013 Garland High School graduate, who has a 3.95 cumulative high school GPA, will start classes at Richland College this fall, where he plans to major in business. During his high school career, he was motivated by weight problems and asthma to work hard and succeed in soccer and track. As a result, he participated in varsity soccer playoffs at school in 2013; ran varsity track; and earned honors as one of his school’s varsity cross-county district champions in 2012. He also volunteers at his church, has helped at the North Texas Food Bank, participated in several canned food drives and was involved in his school’s 30-hour famine to raise money for World Vision. An AP student, member of the National Honor Society and a “Student of the Month,” Martinez viewed learning English as a challenge and his motivation to succeed in school and on the field. He believes that being part of society has shaped his character. “With that character, I have the duty and responsibility to seek a better life and/or standard of living for the people I live around and (to) share this living planet we have the privilege of taking care of,” he says.

photo of Carly MauldinCarly Mauldin — A 2013 graduate of Roby High School (located in Fisher County — west central Texas), Carly Mauldin marshalled her classroom learning and participation in athletics to hone leadership skills that have contributed to her academic success. Mauldin, who starts classes this fall at El Centro College as a fashion design major, graduated third in her class — never making anything less than an A during her entire high school career and graduating with a 4.0 GPA. She ran cross-country track for six years; served as team captain of the varsity basketball team for two years; and volunteered her time to raise money for the local food pantry and the volunteer fire department. She also was listed on the A honor roll all 12 years in school; was a member of the National Honor Society; and served as a student aide in her school district’s kindergarten through second-grade classes, where she was “loved and adored by the students,” according to high school principal Amy Huseman. Mauldin says, “When I was younger, I looked up to the high school kids. They were the ‘rulers’ or leaders. Everyone wanted to be just like them. As I’ve grown up, I have noticed how much they do look up to all of us. I am one of their role models … so I have to watch all of my actions, what I say and how I carry myself. I want to be someone that they want to be like when they grow up.”

photo of Ryan Newman Ryan Newman — Ryan Newman loves the sound of music. It motivates him and gives him something to live for — in addition to his family and his devotion to God. That love and his trumpet, in addition to an excellent academic record and community service, will bring Newman to Richland College for the fall 2013 semester, where he will major in (what else?) music. A Dallas resident and spring 2013 graduate of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, he earned a 3.8 GPA; received the Principal’s Award twice; earned a commended award for excellence in TAKS testing and academics; helped students with academic and music studies; and served as a leader in band and was selected to participate in several prestigious ensembles — Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Instrumental and Brass Ensemble. Currently working at Six Flags Over Texas, he also has volunteered at the Buckner International Orphanage, the Dallas Public Library and other places. He squeezed in time for football, track and tennis, as well as the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. Newman says, “Music conveys a mood of tranquil uniqueness that’s pertinent to relaxing the mind and spirit. Practice is the key to perfection, obviously. But striving to perform and be the best is what I do daily.” He plans to earn an associate degree in music education/performance from Richland and then transfer to the University of North Texas to pursue a bachelor’s degree in those same fields. He would like to study at either the Carnegie Hall Conservatory or audition for The Juilliard School to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in conducting, performance and/or education. Eventually, he would like to teach and also to perform with symphony or wind orchestras.

photo of Guadalupe ZamoranoGuadalupe Zamorano — Carrollton resident Guadalupe Zamorano moved to the United States four years ago at the age of 13. A new school and a new language were her first challenges, but she remembers her father’s wise words: “Education is your key to success.” She decided to work hard and never give up. This fall, she will attend Brookhaven College and major in nursing. A spring 2013 graduate of Newman Smith High School, Zamorano finished her high school career with a 3.7 GPA, graduating among the top 11 percent in her class. She was a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Club. Zamorano also has volunteered her time at a Head Start Center and her school library. She balances time between work at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House in Carrollton with family members and friends who have supported her through school since she immigrated to the U.S. Guadalupe plans to major in nursing and minor in Spanish by completing her first two years of college at Brookhaven and then transferring to a four-year university to complete her bachelor’s degree. She says, “I am extremely proud of my accomplishments. If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would not change a single thing. The mistakes I have made along the way taught me responsibility and the security that I won’t make those errors again. My past has shaped me into the honest, responsible, respectful and hard-working person I am now.”