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Contact: Ann Hatch
Kathye Hammontree

For immediate release — Oct. 2, 2013

(DALLAS) — Two special people served Dallas decades ago: Max Goldblatt, who was elected to three terms on the Dallas City Council, and his wife, Rosa, who led multiple community service projects. Max also was instrumental in the creation of the Dallas County Community College District.

Years later, their memory and community service efforts live on and are remembered when students from each of the seven colleges in the DCCCD system are named Goldblatt Scholars, based on their motivation, success in the classroom and dedication to their communities.

Those students will be recognized during a special program on Thursday, Oct. 24, when they are honored with DCCCD’s 2013 Max and Rosa Goldblatt Endowment Awards in Community Service during a 6:30 p.m. awards ceremony at Maggiano’s Little Italy in NorthPark Center/Dallas.

The seven scholarship recipients, their hometowns and colleges are: Norma Garcia of Dallas, Brookhaven College; Grant Everett of Cedar Hill, Cedar Valley College; Gabriel Estrada of Mesquite, Eastfield College; Mayte de Paz of Dallas, El Centro College; Ashley Nicole Martinez of Dallas, Mountain View College; Sade Ariyibi of Grand Prairie, North Lake College; and George Fleming of Dallas, Richland College.

The scholarship is given every third year to DCCCD students who show leadership in volunteer and community service work. Each awardee receives a $600 scholarship ($300 per semester) from the DCCCD Foundation, which administers the Goldblatt scholarship endowment. The seven DCCCD students receiving Goldblatt scholarships have been involved in community service projects such as drives for homeless shelters, day camps for children, Habitat for Humanity, clothing closets, toy collections and similar efforts. As recipients, the students also must demonstrate their personal commitment to community service by agreeing to volunteer at least 10 hours during each semester.

The scholarship was established in 1986 to honor the Goldblatts, who both served as Dallas leaders and longtime supporters of DCCCD. Together, the couple inspired their children to continue a tradition of civic and community service to others.

For more information, call Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation office at (214) 378-1536.

Biographical sketches for the 2013 DCCCD Goldblatt Award in Community Service recipients are provided below.

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Dallas County Community College District
2013 Max and Rosa Goldblatt Award Recipients

photo of Norma GarciaNorma Garcia — Norma Garcia, a resident of Dallas, attends Brookhaven College, where she is majoring in diagnostic medical sonography. A graduate of the Winfree Academy, Garcia became interested in community service during high school and was among the first to join her school’s Service Learning Club. Their inaugural project comprised three donation drives during the winter months that were designed to help people in homeless shelters; the project, called “Hope for the Homeless,” was a success — the entire Winfree Academy chain of schools recognized the project, which has become an annual campaign. “I will continue to volunteer and help out in many projects and services that my community offers, and I hope to change the world for the better one day,” says Garcia.

photo of Grant EverettGrant Everett — Cedar Hill resident Grant Everett, who attends Cedar Valley College, plans to major in linguistics. He most enjoys volunteering and working with children — especially acting, plays, dress rehearsals and stage productions that spotlight youngsters and their enthusiasm. He worked briefly with his parents on a Habitat for Humanity project but eventually found what he really enjoyed doing the most when he participated in a mission trip at Grace Presbyterian Church in Dallas. That’s when he helped feed the hungry at The Bridge and also became a leader at their day camp for small children. He remembers, “The hardest part was saying goodbye to all of my kids during the last night of camp. I had to eat my food last because I was afraid of not getting to say goodbye to my kids before they left. [When I said goodbye] I felt like I was leaving my family, but they will forever be remembered and adored in my heart.”

photo of Gabriel EstradaGabriel Estrada — Eastfield College business major Gabriel Estrada won’t wait for “bystander apathy” to happen … that moment when people pass up an opportunity to help a person in need because they think someone else will do it. “We will not have a productive society if we tolerate ‘bystander apathy,’” he believes. That’s why Estrada says that the college experience should include volunteering in the community. “Community service [agencies] rely on volunteers to be able to operate. Volunteers feel like their service has an impact on the community. Volunteering also gives students work experience,” he explains. A former volunteer for the Mesquite Clothes Closet and Toys for Tots, Estrada also helped with recycling and cleanup projects near his high school.

photo of Mayte de PazMayte de Paz — Mayte de Paz, a Dallas resident, attends El Centro College and is majoring in mathematics. She is heavily involved in the Student Government Association (SGA); the college’s Learning Center; and student projects on campus, such as the El Centro College clothing and coat drive for The Bridge (a shelter in Dallas), the “Appreciation for All Departments” program (which she created), the Dreamers Workshop (which provided undocumented students with assistance to begin their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process) and the SGA’s “Rock the Vote” campaign to register voters. The Dreamers Workshop and the “Rock the Vote” service projects were recognized at the statewide SGA conference in Houston. De Paz attended an SGA leadership conference that inspired her to get other students at El Centro College involved in student government and community service, too. “Serving my community has meant so much to me because it has given me the opportunity to learn many things I will not forget. I never thought that this wonderful experience would change my life,” she says.

photo of Ashley MartinezAshley Nicole Martinez — Dallas resident Ashley Nicole Martinez is a science major at Mountain View College. Community service has been part of her life since she was a young child. “I feel that when someone has the opportunity to help someone less privileged than themselves, they should take advantage of it,” she explains. During high school, Martinez was a community service volunteer at Leila P. Cowart Elementary School in Dallas, where she taught pre-kindergarten Spanish and helped teachers with their daily needs. In college, as Student Government Association (SGA) president at Mountain View, she takes the college’s mission statement seriously — that the school and its students should empower people and transform communities. Projects that she has planned and coordinated for SGA have included a trick-or-treat event to provide young school children with a safe environment and lots of fun; voter registration events; a canned food drive (coming later in the fall for the holidays); a visit to Children’s Hospital; and other projects.

photo of Sade AriyibiSade Ariyibi — Chemistry major Sade Ariyibi, who lives in Grand Prairie and attends North Lake College in Irving, says that helping the community is more than just helping — it’s helping unselfishly. “Helping the community also is about building personal characteristics like commitment, strength, confidence and — above all else — compassion,” she explains. “These characteristics optimize and define what I believe embodies the meaning of compassion.” Ariyibi’s community activities have included serving as a volunteer at the Baylor-Irving Hospital and as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program. From the emergency room to light clerical work to helping patients, Ariyibi has learned much from her work. As a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters at Brandenburg Elementary School, she helped youngsters with their homework, worked with them on arts and crafts — and simply spent time talking to them and establishing a bond of friendship. “What I have learned from my involvement in the program is that it’s not only about serving the community but also about showing compassion and love to those who need it most.”

photo of George FlemingGeorge Fleming — George Fleming attends Richland College and plans to major in electrical engineering. A resident of Dallas, he has spent more than 160 hours volunteering his time in the community, balancing those efforts with school while he earned a 4.0 grade point average. His volunteer work has helped him move toward his academic goals as well. That’s what prompted him to volunteer as a mathematics tutor, teaching students across a wide range of math levels. “I no longer volunteer for the reasons I intended; since [I started], I’ve found great joy in teaching students who learn at different paces,” he reflects. “I found that it is not just fulfilling but extremely fun for me to work with each individual and to see them progress and succeed in their classes. I found by teaching others that I, too, learn a great deal.” Last year, Fleming helped build and run a winter “boot camp” for developmental math students in addition to his tutoring efforts. He believes, “Volunteering isn’t just for the people you are trying to help. It’s for the volunteer as well.”

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