It was a pleasure to be the speaker at the fifth grade graduation of the school I adopted many years ago and donate another five college scholarships.
My law firm has given the school 15 in the last three years since they were first offered by the Mexican American College Endowment (MACE).
The students won awards in science, math, history, writing, and leadership. They are wearing their caps where they want to attend — UTA, UNT, A&M and TCU.
To see the joy on their faces when they learned who the winners were was priceless.
By receiving these initial scholarships, the children are entered into a competition that ensures that they will receive additional college scholarship money if they have achieved excellent grades and met other standards.
You can bet their parents will frame these certificates and these young people will continue to study hard during middle and high school.
That is why I volunteered to adopt an elementary school on the North Side 12 years ago: to try to influence even one child to succeed.
Since then, I have enjoyed mentoring the children and trying to inspire them by
- making them promise that they would graduate from high school and college (the high school drop-out rate is very high);
- talking at Career Days about which area they might want to pursue and college to attend;
- walking with them and discussing the importance of physical fitness;
- supporting them when they enter 5K races and purchase race registrations and athletic items and clothing when asked;
- discussing my healthy diet and teaching them about the value of nutrition;
- mentioning my daughter and how hard she studied when she was their age, how she got a complete academic scholarship to SMU, and how she is now a CPA (and fluent in Spanish); and
- telling them to dream big and work hard so they will succeed and achieve their dreams.