Midland's Legacy Scholarship Program Essay Contest Winners
Jessica A. Aquino - "Since I was young, never woul 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."
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 volunteered 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."
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 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."
Michael Anderson - "In communities around the globe people under estimate 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."
Louis Smith - "Community service has been huge for me in the past five years. I have been involved with an organization called Unlocked Ministries; this non-profit was designed to help inner city underprivileged kids. The idea of a camp came from Opportunity Camp in California in the early nineties. A youth group from Texas went to help staff the camp. They were so moved by seeing the kids they decided to start a camp similar and that’s, where Unlock Ministries was formed. They have several programs, but the main one is opportunity camp. The bring kids who have rough back grounds but the ability be leaders and get them away for a week to try and make a difference in their hearts and minds to try and help them break the cycle."
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."
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 Information
Contact: Susan Benham
Midland's Legacy Scholarship Program Volunteer Agency Information
Contact: Julia Vickery