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Articles Posted in Community Service

It was fun to again be the judge at “my school” on Monday.  Eleven years ago, I adopted Rufino Mendoza, Jr. Elementary as a community service project. The experience has been a rewarding one.

I have taken a special interest in their after-school running club with my love of running. I also donate money for college scholarships and for other needs during the year.

The Competition

The seven bright students made polished presentations about their leadership skills. I am always impressed with their poise and sincerity. The Power Point slide was this child’s talking point for How I Have Been A Leader. I’m pretty sure we never did anything like this when I was in the fifth grade in 1964.

The students had just been on a field trip to the University of Texas at Arlington and were excited about going to college. Several had decided they wanted to go there and become the first members of their families to pursue higher education.

The first child loved studying the earth and wants to be a geologist because “it sounds so fascinating.”  I enjoyed it when he said that he sometimes fails because he is not perfect — but that “he always learns from the experience.”

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I spent Friday morning speaking to five classes at Rufino Mendoza Sr. Elementary School, which I adopted 11 years ago. It’s always one of my favorite days there.

I always begin by getting the third through fifth graders to select a career from a list that sounds interesting: doctor? lawyer? teacher? artist? We talked about what each person does and why the child might want to work in that field. I stressed that any career requires good grades and many years of education but that it would be worth it.

I told the youngsters that they will have to graduate from high school and then college (and perhaps graduate school. I made them promise that they will. It’s an important pledge.

United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County’s Amigo of The Year 

I was proud to receive this award Saturday night. The theme of Saturday’s banquet was Hispanics and Education, The Future of Our Country, and supporting our young people is one of my favorite causes.

This inspirational event brought together many of local leaders who help promote educational opportunities for Hispanic students. I was presented the award by Rufino Mendoza, Jr., the son of the namesake of the North Side school I adopted 11 years ago. 

The United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County is a nonprofit organization that supports and finances youth programs in our community. This charity makes higher education accessible to students through scholarships and financial aid services.

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A woman who was DWI plowed into a police cruiser and seriously injured the officer inside early Friday morning. Ironically, she was just only a few blocks away from the national headquarters of one of my favorite groups, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The Irving police cruiser was blocking westbound traffic at Texas 114 near North O’Connor Road to prevent motorists from entering a road construction zone. But a very drunk Nicole Arreola somehow failed to notice the flashing red and blue squad car lights and the large bright orange alert barrels, an indication as to how impaired the 36-year old Grapevine woman really was. 

The drunk driver plowed into the back of the cruiser, which subsequently slammed into a light pole. The officer was treated at Parkland Hospital for a concussion, an injured shoulder and broken ribs. 

Arreola showed the telltale signs of intoxication, including the smell of alcohol on her breath, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. She at first claimed she wasn’t driving, but finally admitted she had polished off five shots before climbing behind the wheel. The woman blew a .144 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), almost twice the legal limit

The drunk driver was charged with intoxication assault, which carries a two to 20-year prison sentence. I hope she gets nailed and that publicity from this crime and her sentence discourage people from driving while intoxicated.

Time to Walk Like MADD 

Berenson Injury Law is again the Presenting Sponsor of the annual Fort Worth Walk Like MADD event. We participate every year in this truly inspirational event that brings the community together to show our support for victims of drunk driving and our desire to end DWI accidents. 

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I visited the students at Rufino Mendoza Elementary School on the North Side of Fort Worth this week to see how the beginning of the school year was going. “My kids” are off to a great start. I was honored when they burst into applause when I walked in.

I volunteered with the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Adopt-A-School program because I wanted to give back to my community.  I believe that any student who applies him or herself should have the opportunity to excel. Some of the children I first worked with are now in college or working in good jobs.

Last year I donated seven partial college scholarships to fifth grade students to help them reach their goals. During their step-up ceremony, the students wore ball caps with the logos of their dream colleges. They will get even more money if they continue to exceed, which I’m sure they will.

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My firm is honored to again be the Title Sponsor of the Fort Worth Walk and Dash Like MADD.

I just had the pleasure of meeting with Jason Derscheid, the Executive Director for North Texas, to discuss the event. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is one of my favorite causes.

This is MADD’s 35th year (and mine as a personal injury lawyer). Seeing the devastation caused by drunk drivers has made me a proud supporter of this great cause.

The event on October 24th will raise the public’s awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. The 5K walk and run will begin in an exciting new location on Panther Island, cross the bridge, and meander through our pretty Trinity Park.

If you haven’t participated in one of MADD’s events before, they are moving experiences.

And here’s a thought to cool you off: think how good the lower temps will feel that morning!

Berenson Injury Law Will Match Your Entrance Fee 

The walk/run is an opportunity for you to show your support for victims of drunk driving and to advocate for stricter DWI laws and stronger education of teens about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving.

In addition to individual registrations, many families, companies, school groups and friends register as teams in honor of loved ones.

Berenson Injury Law will match your entrance fee with a donation of the same amount to MADD.

Please send us an email or call us at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to let us know you registered for the Walk Like MADD event. You can register here.

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I wanted to thank the Fort Worth community for the privilege of practicing law in Fort Worth for the past 35 years. This morning it was with great pride that my firm donated seven scholarships totaling $3,500.00 to fifth grade students to start them on their paths of achieving their college dreams.

I loved attending the graduation ceremony at Rufino Mendoza Elementary School where I have volunteered for the last 10 years. When each scholarship winner was announced, there were screams of joy from students and parents. Each child ran to the front and was fitted with a cap from the university he or she wants to attend. In addition to Texas universities, the two young men on the bottom right hope to attend prestigious MIT and Notre Dame. The students were also given a plaque to remind them to keep studying hard so they can achieve their dreams. These children hope to become doctors, engineers, singers, and business people. I met with them to judge the awards and was impressed with their ambition and talent. The faculty and a foundation donated three more scholarships. This is the first time Mendoza had ever handed out these awards and it is only the third school in the Fort Worth ISD to even participate in this exciting program.

I was also delighted to listen to the excellent keynote speech given by my paralegal, Sandra Sigala, who graduated from Texas Christian University in December. She inspired the students and serves as a wonderful role model for them.

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My law firm is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Fort Worth Walk Like MADD on November 1. My firm sponsors the walks in Fort Worth and Dallas each year. Participating in the events is an indescribably moving experience. People of all ages, nationalities, races and backgrounds join together to pay tribute to those who have died in drunk driving wrecks and to those whose lives have been forever changed.

What Drunk Driving Crashes Do To Our Community

During the past three decades representng victims and their families, I’ve seen first-hand the incredible devastation and heartbreak caused by drunk driving accidents.

Most recently I saw the tragedy inflicted on four wonderful people who were killed, the paralysis meted out to a fine young man whom I represented in the lawsuit against the drunk driver and the company that owned the truck the teen was driving, and the physical and emotional pain suffered by several other teens injured in the nightmarish “affluenza” case. This devastation never should have happened. We must work vigilently to stop it from becoming almost routine on our streets and highways in Texas.

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I cheered on the large crowd — including our mayor Betsy Price — at the C.A.L.F. 5K Run and Healthy Foods Competiton early Saturday morning at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. My firm was again presenting sponsor. I have also been on the C.A.L.F. Council since the program’s inception in 2009 and I strongly believe in its mission of encouraging our children to be fitter and healthier.

LaDainian Tomlinson’s Support

C..A.L.F. partnered this year with one of the NFL’s and TCU’s greatest football players (#5 in rushing yards in  NFL history), LaDainian Tomlinson, to make the 2014 run and healthy foods competition a huge success. It was an honor to get to meet “LT.”  He was also honored during the afternoon’s big TCU-OU game and must have inspired the team as it knocked off the #4 team in the country.

More than 80 schools and community centers were involved. FitWorth was also a sponsor and another great cause. The highlight was helping accept the whopping check in the amount of $200,000.00 that was presented to the C.A.L.F. program from donations raised by the Cowtown Marathon.

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The 2013 Walk like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) that took place on Saturday at Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth was a big success, as volunteers and fundraisers were together able to raise more than $25,000 for drunk driving prevention and victims’ services.

Berenson Injury Law, its friends and families again showd their support for MADD. We were one of the sponsors of the walk, put together a team in honor of a client who has suffered critical injuries caused by a drunk driver in June, and donated to other walkers.
We are also helping sponsor the Walk Like MADD in Dallas next spring.
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