Scholarship Recipients Recognized!
A year ago Rebecca Lowe came to our school committee meeting and made a proposal: let’s create a scholarship for a Reagan HS senior. She was moved to act after reading Saving the School by Michael Brick, which describes the effort to save Reagan HS from closure. She wanted to make a meaningful impact, something that would concretely show Reagan HS that Windsor Park Neighborhood supports them and their students. After a year of fundraising and liaising between our committee and AISD, we are proud and excited to offer our first annual scholarship to two highly deserving seniors at Reagan High School. Sugey Zavala and Emilio Vargas are the recipients of $1000 each for their commitment to service in their communities. We far surpassed our expected fundraising goal of $2000 by close to $1000 in our first year of organizing this scholarship, which we consider a major triumph and an indication of the generosity and commitment of this neighborhood.
Emilio Vargas has been involved in community service from a young age, most notably through seven years in the Boy Scouts, where he has attained Eagle Scout. As part of his involvement in Boy Scouts he has provided more than 200 hours of service, including feeding homeless families, organizing CPR training for AISD, and cleaning up national seashores in the Florida Keys. The most touching part of his application was his description of his aunt, who raised him and his three brothers. She was the first female college graduate in her family and he credits her with showing him the value of education and community service. He states “when I complained about how corrupt or bad the world is, her response to me was, ‘What have you done to make it better?’” Emilio plans on attending Texas State in the fall and majoring in criminal justice.
Sugey Zavala is planning on attending Texas A&M to major in architecture. She’s ranked 2nd in her class and has a long history of high academic achievement and commitment to community. She’s been on Student Council for 2 years and National Honor Society for 4 years. She’s volunteered at the annual Hope Fest at Reagan High, and she’s gone to the middle and elementary schools in AISD as a spokesperson for the AVID program which helps students gain the skills needed to be successful in academics. She says that volunteering has helped her gain “the skills of understanding all kinds of people” and to see “how tied we are to one another as a community. I have seen that my success is their success and their success is mine.”
If you are inspired by these stories as much as we are, please donate to our scholarship fund. We have a fun-filled happy hour fundraising event coming up on Friday, June 19 at the Nomad starting at 5:30. The Nomad will donate a portion of the proceeds to our fund, and it’ll be an opportunity to meet neighbors, hang out, and have a refreshing drink.
If you are unavailable to attend that event, you can donate online through our secure PayPal account. Alternatively, you can contribute at our monthly meetings by check or cash, or mail a check made payable to the Windsor Park Neighborhood Association to WPNA, P.O. Box 16183, Austin, TX 78761. Just make sure to indicate that it is for the scholarship fund in the memo line.
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you at the Nomad on June 19!