Verizon Gift Helps Minority Scholars Attend UT Dallas

Sept. 15, 2009

At just 19 years old, UT Dallas freshman Asha Creary has had her fair share of off-the-cuff medical training. From changing her grandmother’s post-surgical bandages to cutting her baby sister’s umbilical cord, the South Oak Cliff High School grad has always wanted to become a doctor.

Creary and 14 other UT Dallas students are edging closer to their professional goals, thanks to a $100,000 gift from the Verizon Foundation, which was earmarked for programs to attract and retain more minority students.

During a ceremony last week, students from high schools and community colleges not typically represented at UT Dallas received scholarship awards of $2,000 from the Verizon gift. Twenty-five applicants were evaluated on financial need, grades, standardized test scores and a personal essay.  

“These students have accomplished great things before enrolling at UT Dallas, and we are excited about having them on our campus and know that they will continue to excel.”

Magaly Spector,
UT Dallas VP for diversity and community engagement

“These students have accomplished great things before enrolling at UT Dallas, and we are excited about having them on our campus and know that they will continue to excel,” said Magaly Spector, vice president for diversity and community engagement.

With help from her family, Rosa Rivas’ older sister raised her siblings after their mother died and Rosa was just a toddler.  Whether to attend college was never the question for Rivas, but how to pay for it was a concern for big sister Torian Johnson, 33.

“When she got the scholarship, I was really happy because I wasn’t sure what I could do to help,” explained Johnson.  Instead, Rivas, a Lancaster High School grad, is majoring in psychology at UT Dallas and worries more about saving for a car than how to pay tuition. “It was a relief because I’ve heard the horror stories that college costs as much as a house,” Rivas said.

Verizon employs 14,000 regionally, and local executives say they would welcome a return on their UT Dallas investment. “We need young people who can think, but also learn,” said David O. Russell, vice president of external affairs for the company’s southwest region.  “The key to that is supporting and strengthening our education base.”

For Creary, the path to medical school had to start at UT Dallas. “I liked UTD from the jump – mainly because of the academics – and there’s lots of help and tutoring.”

In addition to funds, the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement offers academic support for scholarship recipients through the Comet STARRS mentoring program.

“We are very grateful that companies like Verizon help our students reach their dreams,” said Dr. Spector.


Media contacts: Sara Mancuso, UT Dallas, (972) 883-6507, smancuso@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Multicultural Merit Scholar Asha Creary

Asha Creary will use support from Verizon to pursue her goal of becoming a doctor. The freshman was honored by David O. Russell, vice president of external affairs for Verizon’s southwest region; and Magaly Spector, vice president for diversity and community engagement.

 

Rosa Rivas   Until Rosa Rivas discovered the Multicultural Merit Scholarship, her family wasn't sure how the freshman would attend college.

 

Scholarship Honorees

The full list of Verizon scholarship winners and their previous schools is as follows:

Erica Calderon H. Grady Spruce High School
Hailan Chen El Centro Community College
Asha Creary South Oak Cliff High School
Abenezer Daniel Emmett J. Conrad High School
Ruben Diaz School of Science and Engineering
Franklin Elam El Centro Community College
Martha Gutierrez School of Business and Management
Ishar Ma Emmett J. Conrad High School
Avashun Pace South Oak Cliff High School
Rosa Rivas Lancaster High School
Antonio Rodriguez W.H. Adamson High School
Mario Vela Thomas Jefferson High School
Juan Juarez School of Science and Engineering
Ana Maravillo Richland College

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October 26, 2014