2016 > August > Student Leaders Are Student Role Models

Student Leaders Are Student Role Models

This article appeared in an August 2016 issue of the student newsletter.

More than 25 years ago, Dallas businessman Mike Myers established the LeCroy Scholarship for high-achieving students from the Dallas Community College District who personify the leadership, community involvement and spirit of his friend – former DCCCD Chancellor R. Jan LeCroy. Since then, Myers’ tribute to LeCroy’s legacy continues through the inspiring stories and accomplishments of past and current recipients of the annual scholarship.

This year’s honorees are no exception. Those students, who are campus leaders among the seven colleges in the DCCCD system, also serve as role models for their peers, volunteers in their communities and organizers who work to serve others.

They have inspired other students, as well as DCCCD faculty, staff and administrators; as a result, six students have been named 2016-2017 LeCroy Scholarship recipients by the DCCCD Foundation for their outstanding leadership and academic achievements.

The 2016-2017 scholarship recipients, the colleges they attend and their chosen fields of study are:

●     Olivia A. Barron of Dallas, Richland College, nursing;
●     Metin Butler of Dallas, Richland, business;
●     Mayra Cruz of Dallas, Brookhaven College, journalism;
●     Agustin Enriquez of Garland, Eastfield College, economics;
●     Ashleigh Horton of Dallas, Brookhaven College, marketing; and
●     Sharon Mburu of Richardson, Richland, nursing.

 Three DCCCD students are returning LeCroy Scholars for 2016-2017:

●     Andrea Carrizales of Mesquite, Richland College, human rights;
●     Sofia Correa of Irving, El Centro College, nursing; and
●     Cristal Herrera of Irving, El Centro College, nursing.

Biographical Sketches

Olivia A. Barron
From backstage to mainstage, Olivia discovered her passion in theater in spite of moving several times during her adolescent years and growing up in a single-parent home with limited finances. Taking theater arts classes in her high school and being cast in a variety of productions helped build her confidence and fueled her desire to help others. “I have always had compassion toward others and an inclinations to help people,” said Olivia, who graduated as valedictorian from ALPHA Academy in Magnolia, Texas, last May; she will be majoring in nursing at Richland College this fall. “My aspiration for becoming a nurse mainly stems from my goal to help others. I only hope that I can inspire people and, in return, be inspired by them.” Throughout high school, Olivia served as a tutor to her peers, especially those in the theater program, to help boost their self-confidence on stage. She also held several leadership roles and responsibilities in theaters activities and productions in which she was involved. She took AP courses and served in school organizations, such as the Thespian Club, the Junior World Affairs Committee and the school’s new book club. Oliva also received a Chemistry Award for Tutorial Attendance and a Texas History Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Metin Butler
Metin, a 2016 graduate of J.J. Pierce High School in Richardson, learned to develop his leadership skills and devotion to community through his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America. He earned BSA’s highest rank, Eagle Scout, and received the World Conservation Award as well as other skill-based merit badges.  As part of the requirements to earn his Eagle Scout badge, Metin led a team of other scouts on a conservation project that involved building tables and benches from scratch for the Richardson Independent School District’s Environmental Studies Center. “It took good planning and communication skills to lead the other scouts to help with this project,” said Metin. “There are many skills that you have to learn which involve the outdoors, like first aid, communication and pioneering. I received the rank of Eagle Scout when I learned all these skills and did all the requirements that made me a good leader.” Scouting also enabled Metin to participate in BSA’s National Youth Leadership Training and to hold various leadership positions in summer activities. Apart from his involvement with Boy Scouts, Metin excelled academically at Pierce, where he was on the school’s honor roll and was a member of the National Honor Society. He devoted 63 hours of volunteer service for the honor society by tutoring children, hosting events and participating in other activities for Richardson ISD. He also played trumpet for the school band and participated in athletics. Metin, who aspires to build his own corporation one day, will attend Richland this fall and major in business.

Mayra Cruz
Mayra, a journalism major at Brookhaven, dreams of working as a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine and writing about injustices in other countries, especially those in developing nations. “I dream of traveling the world and shedding light on issues the public may not fully be aware of,” Mayra says. “I hope my writing not only captures my readers’ attention but inspires them to act out against injustices.” In spite of holding two jobs to make ends meet as a full-time student, Mayra has maintained a 3.66 GPA during her studies at Brookhaven. She was selected for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for two-year colleges and has been dedicated to helping other students who face similar hardships she has confronted. Myra also has immersed herself in volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, where she helped build homes for low-income families. “Building alongside future homeowners from beginning to end has changed my perspective in life,” she says. “It has caused me to focus on what I have and be truly grateful for all of the blessings I received versus dwelling on what I don’t have.”
          
Agustin Enriquez
“I am a student aspiring for the great opportunities life has to offer,” said Agustin. His actions speak louder than his words, considering his extensive contributions to the community, his involvement at Eastfield College and his career aspirations. Raised in a family who has faced financial strife and has sought assistance from various food banks in the community, Agustin has devoted approximately 450 volunteer hours to help those who face similar circumstances. Over the last two years, he has volunteered at the NETWORK of Community Ministries Inc., a non-profit organization in Richardson, Texas, which provides assistance to people in need with the goal of helping them achieve long-term independence and an improved quality of life. His tireless volunteer work and leadership recently led him to become the youngest person in the organization’s 31-year history to be promoted to shift coordinator. In this role, he supervises a team of volunteer receptionists, food pantry workers and intake specialists who register and assist families for the non-profit’s various services. 

Apart from his volunteer work, Agustin is an active leader at his college. An economics major, he founded the Economics Club at Eastfield and serves as its president. The club traveled to Washington, D.C., this summer to visit the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and also to meet members of the Federal Reserve Bank’s Board of Governors. Agustin also serves as a senator for Eastfield’s Student Government Association; chair of the Strategic Planning Committee; and co-chair of the Campus Issues Committee. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Agustin also earned Eastfield’s first President’s  Volunteer Service Gold Medal Award.  He has his career goals mapped with precision: first, work for the IMF and become a chief economist; after 10 years with the IMF, move into the private sector and eventually form his own firm after several years working for a corporation; and then become an elected city council member while running his firm.             

Ashleigh Horton
Ashleigh’s unwavering commitment to serve others has shaped her long-term aspirations to become an elected official for the state of Texas. An active leader at Brookhaven College and in the community, Ashleigh was elected president of Region II for the Texas Junior College Student Government Association, which promotes the cause of community college students at local, regional, state and national levels. As president, she has presided over meetings for the region (which encompasses 13 colleges in north Texas) and has managed several committees that address various student issues. She also served as senator, parliamentarian and vice president for Brookhaven’s SGA over the last two years.  Ashleigh has been instrumental in planning and executing numerous events and activities for SGA. She has volunteered in school events – such as the SGA Angel Tree during the Christmas holidays and the campuswide Halloween party – and has played a vital role registering students to vote during the presidential election in 2014. As a Brookhaven College Student Ambassador, she helps incoming students with their transition to college during campus orientation. 

Ashleigh also serves as speaking committee chair for the Campus Activities Board, a student organization at Brookhaven that seeks to involve more students in planning events and activities for their peers on campus. Her work with the board involved hosting presidential debate watch parties and partnering with Concerned Veterans for America in phone bank events to ask U.S. veterans throughout the country about issues and concerns that impact them. Ashleigh also has devoted many volunteer hours for nonprofit organizations and at community events, such as the North Texas Food Bank, the Trinity Trash Bash and the 50th anniversary gala for the Dallas County Community College District. She also has volunteered during the past two years in the office of Judge Bill Metzger, who serves as justice of the peace for Dallas County, Precinct 2, Place 2. Metzger, who recently completed his term on the DCCCD board of trustees, also served as Ashleigh’s mentor. A marketing major at Brookhaven and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Ashleigh plans to pursue a career in commercial real estate. However, her career goal underlies her true passion as a servant leader. “I want to become a Texas State Representative and possibly a senator,” Ashleigh states. “I will strive to develop a career in politics, serving my community to fulfill their varied needs and interests to the best of my ability.”
        
Sharon Mburu
From feeding homeless veterans to boxing toys for less fortunate children, Sharon has focused on helping others in spite of personal obstacles. The first member of her family to attend college, she has had to cope with the absence of her father during her senior year at Richardson High School. Her father traveled back to their native home in Africa to assist relatives after Al-Qaida terrorists attacked and burned the land her family left for her grandparents. As a result, Sharon’s family was surviving on one income; she started working to help pay the bills. In spite of financial setbacks, Sharon is driven to achieve her long-term career goal of becoming a nurse practitioner with the help of her LeCroy scholarship. “I am determined to change the trajectory of my family,” Sharon stated. “I want to receive a college education because I want to better my future and also accomplish goals neither of my parents ever had the opportunity to accomplish.” A recent graduate from Richardson, Sharon will attend Richland College this fall and major in nursing. She has participated in a variety of charitable causes, including making and packaging 1,700 sandwiches for the Homeless Veteran Services of Dallas) through Upward Bound (a pre-college program for economically disadvantaged high school students). After her first experience with Upward Bound peers, she continued her volunteer work for HVSD, helping the organization double its output of meals and putting together an assembly line to make packaging the food more efficient. Apart from HVSD, 

Sharon has volunteered for Marine Toys for Tots (for which she worked with a team to box toys for children in need) and the North Texas Food Bank. In school, Sharon took Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) classes, which prepares students for college readiness and success. She also participated in the Afrik Club, an organization for people from Africa who contribute to the community; the Teen Advisory Board Club, which organizes events for the Richardson Public Library and for which she served as president; the Interact Club, a service organization that provides humanitarian services to the community; and the National Honor Society. An honor roll student for most of her high school career, Sharon also received the 85 Challenge Superstar award, given to students who maintain a grade of 85 or higher in all classes throughout an academic year.    

LeCroy Scholarship Background

Students selected as LeCroy Scholars receive full tuition and books for up to six semesters. All recipients attend any of the seven colleges in the DCCCD system: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake or Richland.

The LeCroy Scholarship was established with a grant donated through the Mike Myers Foundation in 1988 to honor LeCroy, who passed away in 2013; he served as DCCCD chancellor from 1981 to 1988. The program was the first major student recognition and incentive scholarship created for DCCCD.

Myers, who currently serves as chairman and president of Myers Financial Corp., took an active role in the selection process with LeCroy when he was alive. Myers continues to carry on his personal involvement with the program, along with Nancy LeCroy, the late chancellor’s wife. They interview finalists and help with the selection of scholarship recipients, as well as personally mentoring those students throughout the year – providing valuable insight and advice to help LeCroy Scholars succeed in school and in their communities. Myers and Nancy LeCroy develop a close relationship with the scholars through planned cultural, political and social events scheduled throughout the year, including an annual holiday gathering of former and current LeCroy Scholars.  

For more information, contact Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation office by phone at (214) 378-1536 or by email at khammontree@dcccd.edu.