Legacy Scholarship Essay Contest Winners
How to Become a Legacy Essay Contest Winner
- Must be a current Legacy Scholarship recipient attending Midland College.
- Write a 500 word (approximately 2 pages) essay about your volunteer experience. This essay is an expression of how the experience impacted you on a personal level. Write from the heart! Some suggestions:
- Have your views on volunteering changed?
- What was the most surprising thing you learned while volunteering?
- Did you have an "aha moment" as a result of your volunteer experience?
- Have your goals changed since volunteering?
- Please double space your essay and e-mail to Legacy Advisor Diana Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Essays will be collected October 1st and March 1st (Legacy Scholars check e-mail for reminders).
- Prize: $500 Cash! Multiple students will be awarded. Students can win only once.
Spring 2016 Winners
Tyler Johnson - "My forty hours of volunteer work was done exclusively at Helping Hands of Midland, and as much as I told myself I did not want to go, each time I did go, I was surprised by both the people and what they do."
Kristen Lopez - "At the end of my high school year I felt extremely lost. The moment that I had waited so long for was finally here. Graduation was right around the corner and I had no idea what I was going to do after high school."
Kassie Maddox - "It was fragile little hands, eager hearts, and twenty-two smiles that made everyday as a senior an unforgettable year. It was hearing “Ms. Kassie!” walking into my kindergarten Legacy class day after day that allowed me to escape from the stress that senior year seemed to bring upon- it was the highlight of my days."
Josefina Natividad - "My life and the lives of my family members all changed eight years ago when my cousin Martin Jr. (Marty) was born. Even though he looked normal on the outside, since Marty was a baby we all knew something was special about him."
Jackie Spencer - "I remember I wasn’t too thrilled when I first found out how many hours were required to volunteer for the Legacy Scholarship, but I knew how important continuing my education was and I definitely needed a scholarship. Now that I have forty hours of volunteering experience and a recipient of the Legacy Scholarship, I definitely have a few stories to tell."
Fall 2015 Winners
Alexis Hope Allen - "Bill Clinton once said, 'Citizen service is the very American idea that we meet our challenges not as isolated individuals but as members of a true community, with all of us working together. Our mission is nothing less than to spark a renewed sense of obligation, a new sense of duty, a new season of service.' After volunteering at Fair Havens for around five months, I learned that there was a beautiful part of myself that I had never seen."
Jonathan Childers - "Volunteering has played a major role in my life and my own personal growth. In this essay, I want to share my own experience with those who are capable and have the desire of helping others. Over the four years I spent in high school, I was given many opportunities like participating in the public library, serving at Keep Midland Beautiful, and contributing in an ESL program."
Emily Cooley - "Winston Churchill, the English prime minister during World War II, declared, ”We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give”(brainyquotes.com). Indeed, serving reveals the value of loving others despite the material profit whether cleaning a closet, answering phone calls, or funding the construction of a building. Through my volunteering experience at the Alzheimer’s Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Midland Children’s Rehabilitation Center, I experienced the joy, humility, and selflessness that volunteering promotes."
Laynie Milam - "“Where do I begin?” I asked Ms. Mary my first day. “You can go to the back and organize toys with the others,” she said. I wandered to the back, picturing a few boxes of toys, only to see four giant bins and numerous trash bags literally overflowing with toys. Before I began volunteering at Helping Hands, I had never gone through so many stuffed animals, Barbie dolls, cars, and other playthings."
Natalie Velazquez - "Anytime I hear of a future Midland College student, I always advise them to pursue the Legacy Scholarship. The Legacy Scholarship has taught me the importance of community work and helping others. My parents divorced when I was quite young, and my mother raised my sister and me on an elementary school teacher’s salary, which is not much, as most people know."
Spring 2015 Winners
Kacey Barton - "Serving the community in many different shapes. For some, it's helping the elderly, serving food to those who are hungry, reading to those who cannot see, or being a role model to a child in a difficult situation. For me, it was listening to those without a voice. I began volunteering at Lonestar Animal Sanctuary in my first semester at Midland College, and it has changed my life in the most significant way."
Lyssa Bell - "Although I don't remember it, my first experience volunteering in Midland was as a baby. My mother would push me in the basket up and down the hallway of a retirement building while she delivered Meals On Wheels to the elderly residents. When I was older, we began delivering to houses around town. We would bring the prepared meals to the seniors' doors, and stay to talk a while. By allowing me to ccome along, my mother instilled in me a love of serving, and it was the first time I experienced the satisfaction of giving to others."
Victoria Pearson - "I have always enjoyed the feeling that I acquired after doing a good deed or simply helping someone out. However, I had no idea that my 40 hours of community service would turn into just under 100 hours, for no other reason than the fact that I loved it! Through volunteering I have learned that many organizations exist only with the help of volunteers from the community, I have seen the amount of joy volunteering brings to those you are helping out, I discovered a feeling of self-satisfaction that no other activity can bring, and lastly I have learned to spend my time wisely."
Kieri Sitz - "Becoming a Legacy recipient was one of the best things that have happened to me. Legacy really has changed my life in many ways because without it I wondered if college was even going to be possible. I have experienced so many amazing things and so many great opportunities because of the chance I was given with the Legacy scholarship."
Shaylee Winchell - "Life is extraordinary. Nobody lives the exact same life, has the same morals and beliefs, or live for the same reasons. However, we can all have an impact on someone or something. What many people fail to realize is that the smallest things can change someone forever. The Legacy scholarshop has blessedme in many ways beyond receiving scholarship money to pay for my education. It allowed me to volunteer, give a helping hand when needed most, and my experience truly touched my heart."
Fall 2014 Winners
Victoria Chadwick - "My life has not always been as bright and promising as it is today; I had no idea where my life was going, or how I would possibly be able to attend college at all. Since I was a child, my self-esteem has always been low, and any time college was brought up, it simply made my confidence drop even further. I never believed I could handle college, and never thought I would even be given the chance."
Joselin Corral - "During my last year of high school, I was looking for something productive to do. I didn’t know many people because I had just moved from Phoenix, Arizona and everything in Midland was new to me. Searching for new opportunities to get involved and make new friendships I decided it would be a good idea to make an appointment with my student counselor and discuss what was available for me to do. It all began with a thought while I was speaking to my high school counselor after she had offered me to volunteer for a program called “Midland’s Legacy Scholarship”, she then explained what it consisted about, but my thoughts wondered “what can volunteering possibly teach me and why am I not getting paid if I’m doing work?”. Eventually my question was answered."
Marisa Gonzales - "My volunteer experience was probably different from everyone else’s. I earned my volunteer hours through being a member of the 2013-2014 Midland High Students in Philanthropy organization. I joined Students in Philanthropy my junior year in high school mostly because I wanted it on my college applications but partly because my mom has a part of the organization when she was getting her master’s degree at UTPB. My mom loved being a part of SIP and so I thought it would be the best choice for me. I had no clue just how much fun I would have over the course of two years in Students in Philanthropy. I definitely did not expect to become a member of Midland College’s Students in Philanthropy when I first joined two years ago, however I am now a member and I love it."
Miranda Nhoy - "People’s lives are changed every day by their actions and experiences, actions and experiences that they choose to act upon or actions and experiences that are acted upon them. This summer I acted upon a community service experience that opened my eyes in many ways. I was a volunteer at the Midland Memorial Hospital. In my time as a volunteer at the hospital, I was able to meet patients and staff members from all over the world and learn about their life experiences. Listening to all of their stories has made me truly appreciate everything I have. An opportunity for an education has to be on the top of the list of things I am truly fortunate for."
Ashley Turner - "I am the fourth child out of my seven siblings, the middle child. Growing up, I pestered my older sibling as my younger ones do to me now, but I never truly understood how blessed I was to grow up in such a big family. My older sisters were my role models and still are, I see what they go through as adults in this world and decide whether that’s the path I want to take or not. I am also a big sister to three younger siblings, and although I did not see that they look up to me until recently, I know that they do and I strive not to make many mistakes that they may follow. Looking up to someone and admiring them does not always meant that you want to be like them, but that you watch their actions and mentally note them, as if they are a manual on what to do and what not to do. Never in a million years did I think I would touch someone’s life outside of my family, but the last semester of my senior year, I did. This experience is something I will never forget and I am so amazed by how the kids I helped relieved my daily stress by just being themselves."
Spring 2014 Winners
James Avampato - "Volunteering in the community not only benefits the surrounding populace, but it also reaps personal rewards. I have received many benefits from volunteering at the I-20 Wildlife Preserve and Jenna Welch Nature Study Center during the summer. Volunteering in the community has enabled me to learn new job skills in which careers I am interested, helped me understand the positive impact that volunteering has on the community, and developed a stronger work ethic in my character."
Mara Bland - "From an early age, I realized that it was important to serve others. However, it wasn't until I learned about the Legacy Scholarship that I was able to turn my views on giving back into something real. One of the main reasons I pursued the Legacy Scholarship was because I wanted to achieve something useful on my own. By obtaining this scholarship, I would be able to say that my parents did not have to pay for me to go to college because I worked for it. Now I realize that this opportunity has changed my life for the better."
Reed Myers - "Community. In a community, people live and thrive as a group. When one area of the community needs help, others must come together and work to bring up the weak links. That is what community service is about. This last year, I had the privilege of working at Helping Hands over spring break. At Helping Hands, I was able to see multiple aspects of not only the needy community, but the giving community as well."
Taylor Paulsen - "When I first found out that I had to do community service for the Legacy Scholarship I thought “Oh, that’ll be easy!” But as time went on, I started to become very weary of the idea. Where would I go? What would I have to do? I soon found out that it isn’t a difficult thing to do, but it does impact you greatly."
Evelynn Valles - "Throughout high school I was always confused on what I wanted to do and study in college. I didn't entirely put all of my effort my sophomore or junior years but I knew if I truly wanted to attend college I had to give it my all my last year in high school. Of course being a senior and wanting to be a little more involved around the school I knew I had to have at least one extracurricular activity. To my luck I chose Students in Philanthropy not knowing one thing about it."
Fall 2013 Winners
Taylor Bagwell - "About two years ago, my youngest sister was born. It was also one of the most frightening days of my life. It started out as any normal birth should: easy delivery, excellent APGAR scores, crying, and hungry. Then two hours after being born, she stopped breathing. My family was in a panic. All I could do was sit down, get out of the doctor's way, and pray like there was no tomorrow."
Lizbeth Contreras - "I've always liked the starfish story and its message. It tells about a girl who comes across thousands of starfish washed up on a beach shore and her decision to help as many survive as possible, by throwing them back into the ocean. A man sees her and sarcastically asks if she thinks her actions are somehow going to make a difference if there are clearly too many starfish that won't get saved. She looks up while tossing one more into the ocean and says, 'I made a difference in the life of that one!'"
Braxton Dodson - "I was raised by a single mother. I am a football player and I compete in weight lifting. When I was five, my mother and I volunteered at the Midland Soup Kitchen, she was trying to teach me a valuable lesson. I was five, I didn't get the lesson. In grade school, she had me selling every fund raiser the school had to offer, I hated fund raisers. She told me, "It is for the school." As I got older, we took blankets to the animal shelter, we handed five dollars to every person standing on the side of the road holding a sign, we gave food to the Food Bank, we walked for the March of Dimes and sold T-shirts for Breast cancer awareness. Inever understood exactly why we did so much for strangers. I dreaded every time she took me with her as she volunteered."
Logan Garnett - "A volunteer is defined as somebody who works for nothing. Initially, my view of helping as a volunteer completely lined up with this definition. I would work for nothing because it was required for the Legacy Scholarship. But, my service for Meals on Wheels and Midland Teen Court became much more to me because I gained knowledge, compassion, understanding and respect for others from volunteering."
Lynley Lewis - "Honestly, when my mom started asking me about my service hours for the Legacy Scholarship, I wasn’t thrilled. Like any self-centered teenager, I’d rather spend my time hanging out with friends, relaxing at my house or even looking at the pointless apps on my phone. But I learned that getting out of your comfort zone can change your life."
Jacob Milam - "My name is Jacob Milam. I am seventeen years old and the fifth of six children. I was born in Lubbock Texas, but have lived most of my life in Midland. My mom homeschooled me my entire school career. She taught me not only excellence in academics, but also life skills including money management, work ethic, cooking, cleaning and the importance of giving."
Brooklyn Zabel - "Working at Midland Children's Rehabilitation Center impacted me in so many different ways. It was exciting, interesting, and honestly exhausting, but in a good way. I cannot tell you how many times I would come home completely exhausted but utterly satisfied with the work that I had done. I made new friends, learned a lot, and had the privilege of working with the most amazing people and children."
Spring 2013 Winners
Jessica A. Aquino - "Since I was young, never would I have ever thought that community service would be so rewarding, not just for the community but for myself as well. As I entered junior high, community service was introduced to me and back then it seemed noting more than a chore, a job without pay, or even just plain punishment."
Emily Felts - "Community service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions. That is one definition of community service, but it is so much more than that to me. This is the story of how community service has changed my life forever."
Ashley Hearn - "Volunteer work was never something that had interested me. I come from a family that was relatively stable financially and we have never needed any sort of aid while I was growing up. I was lucky for what I had, coming from a good home and not struggling in school; I just did not realize that yet."
Ashley Luna - "I have had the great opportunity to do some community service with many organizations; such as The American Diabetes Association, The American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, Gifts of Hope, and the Alzheimer’s Association. By far my favorite programs have been both the Alzheimer’s Association and Gifts of Hope."
Bethany Pitchford - "I love it when people ask why I get up before dawn on Saturday mornings. Winston Churchill once said that 'there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.' There has never been a more true statement."
Fall 2012 Winners
Jo'Maka McLaughlin - "As a woman, helping kids is something that comes natural to me. Doing community service gives me great joy. Helping others who cannot help themselves is the ultimate feeling. Although, I do a lot of community service, for my Midland Legacy scholarship I chose to work at Casa De Amigos helping children with their homework."
Paul Peterson - "Volunteering is not something new for me. My mother taught me that volunteering is something one should do even without compensation for it; volunteering can be its own reward. I started volunteering when I was five years old in San Antonio at the San Antonio Missions. Later, volunteering at Fort Davis National Historic Site, where my family and I did living history as part of our home school curriculum. Since moving to Midland ten years ago, I have volunteered at many organizations."
Jonathan Ross - "The thought of community service was a bore to me before I began my legacy hours. I dreaded starting it though I knew I had to do it. Where I earned my hours did not even matter to me. I just wanted to get it over with. To my surprise it was not what I expected. Community service was not just a painful experience to pay for college; it was an enjoyable and beneficial experience."
Sierra Salazar - "'Children are the future of our world,' is what my grandparents would always tell me as a child. A child needs to be shown how many opportunities they are able to reach, and be able to achieve. A child not shown that, will never blossom into the beautiful lily that they are. That is why I chose to volunteer at my community elementary school. I wanted to live the words that my grandparents told me, the words that would make a difference in my future."
Brady Suggs - "Abraham Lincoln once said 'In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.' I have to say that I agree with Old Abe, that what we do with our one and only life matters. It matters in many ways, one of those ways being servant hood. Sometimes when people hear and think of the term “servant” or “volunteer” they think you have to be like Mother Teresa and open up an orphanage or something, but you don’t. Volunteering is just giving up time and effort for somebody else, being a part of a bigger picture."
Spring 2012 Winners
Austin Berry - "My Dad always says leave a place better for having been there. The concept of service is not new to me or to my family. As Christians and active church members, we have had many opportunities to serve both at home and away. For example I had the chance two summers ago to serve in an Indian village along the Rio Tuira River in Panama. It was only 10 miles from the columbian borders and was a high risk area and about 3 hours up river from the nearest dock and the dock was 1 hour and 30 minutes from the nearest town. We took medical supplies in to the village as well as a doctor that lives in Panama. It was a village that had not yet had any interaction with outsiders other than the missionary family. We also contributed to their living by buying their hand made art and other items that were unique. I know that money does not solve much but it helped them get some basic needs that they could not get just by natural recourses. Although this was a wonderful experience it is equally important to remember that there are many opportunities to serve right here in Midland."
Cary Britton - "The emotional atmosphere is an encasing of sadness, anger, and chaos. This combination of emotions is felt by simply traveling south on Midkiff Ave. In Midland, Texas until you reach a sign labeled S.P.C.A. This sign, found on the left side of the road right after crossing I-20, will lead you to a building that is a home to several dogs as well as cats. This is their home because no other home wanted them. Most of these animals have been abused, beaten, chained up with no freedom to explore, have gone days without food and/or water, and have few experiences of love if any since their birth. This home of abandoned animals is where I decided to spend eighty hours of my life."
Desiree Gutierrez - "Community Service is a great opportunity to make a difference in the community you live in. There are so many ways to help out the community. Some people are given chances to do community service when they need to pay off fines, for tickets. Sometimes even shorten jail time for inmates on good behavior. Most people simply do it because they love getting involved. It’s there way of making a difference and the community a cleaner, healthier place. It is also a great way for college students to get involved and in return help get some college and books paid for."
Sarah January - "Since the beginning of my journey here at Midland College I have been given so much, wonderful instructors, excellent classes, and encouraging friends. However, I was never expecting the fantastic opportunity MC has given me this past year. I spent my forty volunteer hours at the Recording Library of West Texas and I will be spending many more there in the years to come. I never would have thought I’d have so much fun. I am very grateful to the Recording Library for the chance they’ve given me, not only to further my education, but to be able to help those around me."
Patrick Ybarra - "My experience while I was doing my community service was great. It taught me many new things that I can use not only in the work place but as well as in life. What made it even better was the people I had the opportunity to work with were great and I even knew one of the workers daughters. They then helped me realize what I wanted to do."
Fall 2011 Winners
Michael Anderson - "In communities around the globe people underestimate the power and effect community service has on a person that receives the service or deed done. Community service can affect the volunteer in many ways that seem unimaginable until you actually experience the feeling you get after you do community service. This service can range from preparing food for the elderly, working on a community nursing home, or even something as simple as sacrificing your time to talk to an elderly or misfortunate person. One small action of courtesy or helpfulness can be a life changing event for the person doing the action and the person receiving the action"
Kelsie Rasure - "I have always known the impact that feeding the homeless, constructing a house, or clothing a child could potentially have on a person. Not only on a person receiving the action, but also the rewarding aspect to the person doing the good deed. So when I was asked to play with some children at Safe Place, I agreed, but figured it would have an insignificant impact on any of the children. Little did I know, the influence I would have on these children would be more than significant."
Elisa Saenz - "As the summer grew closer and closer to an end, I realized that I had yet to complete my community service hours, all forty of them. This may seem like a lot at first, but finding the perfect volunteering agency can make the number dwindle down so quickly that one is capable of forgetting just how many more hours they need, and focusing on the impact that is being made on others and yourself."
Natalie Tolbert - "Boom! A toy dashes across the room and slams against the nicely painted wall. A blood curdling scream comes racing through the room and my eyes rush towards a small little body sprawled out on the carpet. The body is tossing and turning about, kicking its arms and legs. While to some this predicament may seem unnerving, to me it is a normal night at S.H.A.R.E."
Spring 2011 Winners
Stephany Brown - "I was surprised by a call from an acquaintance that took horseback riding lessons with me years ago. She was looking for volunteers to assist at Midland Children’s Rehab Center. Delighted, I accepted, thinking how much fun it would be to be around horses once again in my life. My volunteer work with disabled children, horses and physical therapists helped me learn to be more patient with myself and others. What began as an opportunity to complete my service hours, ended as a gift to myself from a special “sister.”
Estefania Chavez - "Never in my wildest dreams would I have even begun to imagine that community service could be such a rewarding experience. As the oldest child I never had the opportunity of having someone that could help me with my homework, play with me and help me when I needed something. My parents once in a while could help me with homework, but once we moved to the United States I was definitely on my own considering my parents didn’t know enough English to help me. From this moment forward, I can say I’m very proud of myself for being where I am now without any help throughout my school years. Yet, I know I could have done better with the help of someone. I figured with the opportunity to do community service, I could take advantage of this situation and choose something that would help kids with whatever they needed and maybe even play with them if I had the chance."
Caleb Conder - "This past summer I had the opportunity to serve in a ministry called 'Opportunity Camp.' This ministry is made to reach out to younger kids, who may come from broken homes, and raise them up to be leaders in their homes, schools and communities"
Caitlyn Enderson - "In the year 2010, I had the opportunity to volunteer for the Midland community in many ways. I volunteered at Helping Hands, Meals on Wheels, and the Petroleum Museum. These volunteering experiences further opened my eyes to the needs of my community and the many opportunities of service in my home town."
Kelsie Rasure - "As Secretary of Spanish Club of my high school, I was assigned the job of picking a community service project for the Club to participate in. Our school was having a “service day” and different classes and clubs were picking various projects around the community to do on this day. Some groups were going to play with kids at Safe Place, while others were serving food at the Soup Kitchen, and still others were volunteering to pick up trash around neighborhoods. I saw all of these projects as needs that our community had, but I had the desire to help an individual, or even a family; someone who needed something done, but could not do it themselves. I wanted to make a more personal impact; I wanted someone to feel like we had dedicated our day just to them. That was why I ultimately decided to get involved in a Christmas in Action project. I contacted the organization and we were assigned a house to repaint. I honestly did not think that repainting someone’s house could make much of an impact on their life, but if that’s what needed to be done, then that’s what we were going to do."
Midland's Legacy Scholarship Program
Diana Ramos, Legacy Advisor