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For immediate release — Aug. 14, 2017
(DALLAS) — The Dallas County Community College District has selected 11 new Muse Scholars for the 2017-2018 academic year. Those students, some of the brightest at DCCCD’s seven colleges, were chosen for their academic work, community contributions, determination and motivation to succeed. Four others are returning scholarship recipients.
This year’s high-achieving Muse recipients are:
The DCCCD Muse Scholarship program pays full college costs, including tuition and books. The scholarship covers up to six consecutive semesters, and the program is open to new high school graduates as well as students who are currently enrolled at one of DCCCD’s colleges.
The Muse Scholarship program was created and funded by longtime DCCCD Foundation supporters Lyn and John Muse of Dallas. The couple began funding the program in 2005 following the Hurricane Katrina disaster that disrupted lives and sent families scrambling to create new beginnings.
Guiguine Bolomo grew up in Congo and has been in the United States for almost three years. She is a geology major with a 3.8 GPA at Brookhaven College, where she has served as secretary of the Brookhaven International Club; she volunteered at the STEM Fair and at Brookhaven Service Learning, an organization that combines learning with civic and community responsibilities. She is a member of Brookhaven ESOL Sport, a program that teaches English to international students through sports. In addition, Bolomo has served as the soccer equipment manager for the Brookhaven College women’s soccer team. As a young girl, Bolomo and one of her cousins started a small business designing and selling traditional African bracelets at school festivals. The experience paid off, as she learned how to work with people and, more importantly, how to be a good leader. She learned responsibility, patience and organization. As a geology major, Bolomo hopes to work in geosciences some day and create a geology research laboratory in her home country. Bolomo said she would like to go back home and help people there, especially children, many of whom work in mines in the resource-rich land. “I was very happy when I found out I was going to be a Muse Scholar,” Bolomo said. “I applied to give myself a chance, and this scholarship will help me realize my dreams. It really motivates me to work even harder and accomplish much more.”
Jerome Campbell has a 3.6 GPA at Mountain View College, where he expects to complete an associate degree in science in May 2018. Campbell hopes to one day become a biomedical engineer. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was a STEM Scholar recipient in 2016. In addition, he has volunteered as a peer advisor at Mountain View. The 23-year-old, a native of Jamaica, said determination has always been a driving force in his life. After he earns his associate degree at Mountain View, Campbell hopes to transfer to the University of Texas at Arlington to continue his academic career in medical research. “I feel very privileged to receive this scholarship, and I feel I can accomplish and achieve anything,” said Campbell. “It motivates me and enables me to go to school and maintain my academic standards.”
Briley Davis is studying to become a registered nurse at Brookhaven College, where she has earned a 3.5 GPA. After she completes her associate degree, Davis plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing through an online program at Texas Tech University in El Paso. Davis hopes to earn a master’s degree in nursing and become a professor in that field. Davis’ passion for nursing started at Corazon Clinic, a free medical clinic in San Antonio for homeless and underprivileged people. Davis said dealing with patients who were, at times, uncooperative or had mental problems prepared her for a career in nursing. “The patients lacked medication, and the equipment was old and outdated,” Davis said. “It was an amazing, humbling experience.” Davis’ other volunteer experiences include three years with the Leon Springs Fire Department, Hopkins County Memorial Hospital in Sulphur Springs and Shadow Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center. “I'm so thankful for this scholarship,” said Davis. “Not only for the financial support to finish nursing school, but also because it shows me that someone believes in me and thinks I'm worthy of this. That gives me the confidence to work even harder and graduate.”
Francisco Delgado is studying management at El Centro College, where he has earned a 3.0 GPA and expects to graduate in May 2018. He hopes to transfer to Southern Methodist University in fall 2018 to earn a bachelor’s degree in management and entrepreneurship. Delgado completed an internship at Bell Helicopter in Hurst as part of El Centro’s Year Up program, which combines work training with college credit. He said his experience there taught him about core values, and he wants to give back by advocating for community organizations. Delgado said he grew up in an area where he did not receive direction and where people were happy with low expectations and who had little motivation to achieve greater things. He said he took a break from education after he graduated from high school. He then enrolled at El Centro and became an honor student. “It changed my life and my understanding of life,” he said. Now that he has earned the Muse Scholarship, he said he feels that he is valued. “If I can do this, I can do more, and it motivates me to try harder,” Delgado said. “This scholarship lays a foundation as a starting point for greater accomplishments.”
Kelechi Victor Etoh attends North Lake College and hopes to become a medical doctor. At North Lake, Etoh has earned a 3.88 grade point average and has been listed on the president’s honor roll for his academic record. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and exhibited leadership as the vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at North Lake in fall 2016. NSCS is an honors organization that recognizes and elevates high achievers. After he graduates from North Lake, Etoh hopes to transfer to the University of North Texas to pursue a bachelor’s degree and then follow his dream to become a medical doctor. Etoh, a native of Nigeria, said he hopes this achievement will prove to his community back home that someone from a poor background can go far in education. Etoh added that he believes in giving back to the community. He has volunteered for the American Red Cross as well as the Nigerian Red Cross. “I feel honored to be named a recipient. One of my major achievements is to know that my academic efforts paid off,” Etoh said about the Muse Scholarship. “I was very grateful and amazed about this award. It’s something I will talk about the rest of my life!”
Crystal Morrill is a culinary arts student at El Centro College, where she expects to graduate in spring 2018. She is a chef apprentice in El Centro’s Food and Hospitality Institute, where she has earned a 3.9 GPA. The apprenticeship is a three-year program that requires 6,000 hours of work, combined with classes at FHI’s downtown kitchen classrooms. The 36-year-old said she worked in the food industry for the first 10 years of her adult life and then worked in the information technology industry for several years before she decided to go back to school and pursue her culinary passion. The Oklahoma native said food is not only a passion, but also an art form that allows her to express her creativity. Morrill hopes to one day become a sous chef and master all stations in a professional kitchen. Eventually, she would like to become a culinary instructor and help young people achieve their dreams. “I am very grateful for the opportunity,” said Morrill. “This (Muse) scholarship has encouraged me to work harder. It is a relief because I don’t have to worry about the expenses, and I can take extra classes.”
Anh Nguyen has earned a perfect 4.0 GPA at Richland College. Nguyen is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has volunteered as a mentor for KidsU. In addition, Nguyen is a former STEM scholarship recipient and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an honors organization that recognizes and elevates high achievers. Nguyen is a native of Vietnam and graduated from that country’s University of Science with a bachelor’s degree in physics. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have served as inspirations for Nguyen, who hopes to pursue a career in computer science. After graduating from Richland College, Nguyen plans to enroll at the University of Texas in Austin.
Hai Nguyen is originally from Vietnam, where he grew up in a farming community. He is a mathematics major at North Lake College, where he has earned a 3.9 GPA. He expects to finish his associate degree in spring 2018. He is a member of: Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society, a U.S. professional organization for educators; Mu Alpha Theta, a mathematics honor society; the Green Club; and the International Club. In addition, he is a member of the North Lake Student Government Association. Nguyen volunteers as a mentor for students and helps them prepare for college, and he tutors math and science students. He led a team on Pi Day, March 14, for a project called “Making a Lithium Atom,” during which he contributed ideas and assigned tasks to other students. Nguyen’s dream is to earn a doctoral degree and become a mathematics professor. He said his parents didn’t finish high school, so he took it upon himself to educate his younger brothers. “I was very happy when I received the scholarship,” said Nguyen, who has a busy life studying and working. “As an international student, I have to work harder to earn A’s in class. College and work don’t leave me too much free time to myself, but I find the time to volunteer.”
Rupesh Pokharel is a 20-year-old international student from Nepal who is studying computer science at North Lake College, where he has earned a 3.54 GPA. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Pokharel said he has been determined to learn computer science since he was a child, so he has pursued that dream his entire life. He is a member of the NLC International Club and the Student Government Association, and he has volunteered with several organizations on campus. After he completes his associate degree at North Lake, Pokharel hopes to transfer to a four-year university. He said he applied for other scholarships in 2016, but he did not succeed. That situation motivated him to study harder and to get involved in college activities. “I feel very honored because it’s a very competitive process,” Pokharel said. “Lots of students apply, but it’s very hard to get the scholarship. I tell new applicants not give up and try harder. Don’t give up on your goals!”
Jasmine Roberts attends Cedar Valley College, where she has a 3.4 GPA as a business major. Roberts attended the School of Business and Management at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center, a high school for high-achieving students in Oak Cliff, where she graduated with honors. Roberts is the president of Women of Divinity, a campus organization that seeks to uplift and empower women. Members of the organization go into the community and help women build their self-worth. Roberts said she dreams of launching a non-profit organization to help people out of poverty and hunger and to promote equal rights and habitat restoration.She said attending Cedar Valley has changed her life and how she views education.“This scholarship makes me feel tremendously enthusiastic about pursuing higher education,” Roberts said. “It gives me the opportunity to enhance myself and gain education and clarity in life.”
Jasmine Thomas is studying accounting at Eastfield College, where she has earned a 3.4 GPA, and she expects to complete her associate degree in applied science in May 2018. She is contemplating her transfer options, but she said she hopes to one day become a financial analyst. Thomas said watching her mother struggle with family obligations motivated her to seek a better life and future through education. In addition, it inspired her to become a better role model to her younger siblings by showing them that education is the key to success. She served as mentor at the Boys and Girls Club in high school, which she said prepared her to become a leader. “I am ecstatic and grateful to be a Muse Scholarship recipient,” Thomas said. “Now I can focus on my dreams, goals and studies. I was able to connect with brilliant scholars, learn from outstanding professors and, above all, pursue my academic dreams.”
For more information, contact Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation at
email@example.com or at 214-378-1536.
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