It’s great to hear from you and the foundation. So much has happened since the night I received my scholarship and met you and the other committee members.
I’m currently a sophomore at Northwestern University, majoring in journalism, minoring in sociology and doing an Integrated Marketing Certificate. I couldn’t be happier here. I love my university and more specifically, Medill (the journalism school). I’ve met some extraordinary people from all over the world, with very different interests that are really, really cool. I’ve also gotten the chance to network, attend career development events and learn so many things I never thought I’d explore.
A huge part of the good times I’ve spent here stems from the scholarship the foundation gave me for my first year here. Not having to worry so much about the financial costs of attending Northwestern definitely helped my dad and I, so thank you!
I’m very content with where I am right now and I’m excited for the future and the opportunities ahead of me. I hope the foundation and its members are doing well too!
My name is Carmen Engel and I was a recipient of the Ric Gonzalez Memorial Foundation in 2011. I thought I would give you a little update on my life now. I am currently in my fourth year at the University of Virginia. I am studying kinesiology and I mainly focus on special needs children. I hope to graduate in May and then go on to be certified as an Applied Behavioral Analyst. With this job I hope to be a behavioral therapist for children with autism. As of right now what city I will end up in is up in the air but I would love to move to San Francisco. At school I am a member of a sorority, Alpha Phi, and I also love to volunteer around campus. I am involved with Special Olympics, Charlottesville Therapeutic Center and Golden Living Nursing home.
Thank you for reaching out to me! I’d love to share my updates since high school. I’m still here at Wayne State University this is my 5th year.
I have had many difficulties that have caused a delay in my academics. At one point I considered dropping out and joining the work force full time to help my family with finances. However I’ve stuck it out and it has been an immensely tough road. I have committed to doing all that it takes to graduate whether it takes me 4 years or 10. I have a family that looks up to me and depends on my success. Being first generation college students weighs heavily but I’ve committed to breaking the mold and achieving the mountain of success in academics.
Since high school my family lost our home, jobs, car we hit rock bottom with the harsh economic downfall. My family relocated to Florida and despite a rough start, they are building back up. I came back to Michigan to finish school as out of state tuition would be yet another setback. I’ve moved on campus and while I had a rough transition, I still remain on campus and have been working to be involved. Things are difficult and discouraging at times but I’ve found that instead of selfishly dwelling on my struggles, I’d like to give back. I work two jobs and am part of 4 student organizations. I am part of the Wayne State Gospel Choral, Righteous Movement Bible Study, I’ve recently joined the Pre Professional Medical Society, and have helped to found Wayne States very own Residence Hall Association. My way of giving back on my campus is by encouraging students to being more involved in campus life. More specifically with RHA, as part of the Executive Board, we aim to making our residence life synonymous with home, promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity. We have worked hard to bring our residents tons of community building events, leadership conferences and opportunities, hall council trainings and overall increasing resident involvement. We have successfully accomplished in one year what most Universities do in three years. Our upcoming events include are our Leadership Conference in November and we are excited to announce that Wayne State’s Housing department has approved our request to getting our very own office built in addition to a Collaboration Center sponsored by RHA for all WSU residents.
My road to success has been long. There have been tons of milestones that I have hit and even many times where I have wanted to throw in the towel. However my drive and desperation for success keeps be going. Being able to inspire other students and residents to keep going and to keep reaching for success makes me feel like I’m doing something right. And overall, I know that no matter how long my road takes, my family looks up to me and I am building a new legacy for the younger ones watching behind me. I am proud to say that I am a Wayne State Warrior and I will continue to fight for success.
Thank you Ric Gonzalez Memorial Foundation for pouring into me in the beginning of my journey and thank you so much for reaching back out to check up on my progress. You are immensely appreciated.
National Communications Chair, Residence Hall Association
I am pleased to say that I am doing quite well; I now attend the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
After graduation I was selected to participate in the Bridge Program offered by the university, which allowed me to enter my freshman year in college early as I took a summer term to help me adjust to the new college experience. I used this opportunity to my advantage utilized all the resources that were offered to me during the summer. I soon came to realize that there are so many resources that the University of Michigan has to offer and they are all designed to help students such as me succeed. Since I was able to participate in this summer program, this gave me a little bit of an edge entering the fall. As of now I’m progressing through the fall semester. I plan to keep working hard to eventually apply to the Ross School of Business. I want thank the RGMF for selecting me as a recipient for the scholarship. It has been of huge assistants.
I have been doing well I hope you are doing well as well. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Detroit Mercy studying mechanical engineering. My current cumulative GPA is 3.28. As a part of my extracurricular activities I participate in HASA the Hispanic American Student Association and SWE the Society of Women in Engineering. Being a part of these two groups not only helps me grow as a professional individual, but I am also able to give back. For example this past Friday I participated in an event called Safety Street where, as part of a school wide event, groups on campus create their own Halloween facade and pass out candy for kids with in the community. Furthermore, this past summer I was fortunate enough to be a part of DTE Energy’s Summer Talent Exposure Program otherwise known as STEP.
So far, all is going very well. I was accepted to Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Oakland University and University of Detroit Mercy.
Although, each of the colleges had wonderful nursing programs, I chose the University of Detroit Mercy solely because, of their direct admission into a nursing program. I was accepted into their nursing program and I am currently taking classes and working my way towards my four-year BSN. It can be a bit overwhelming at times but, so far I’m loving every minute of it. Being in the direct admit nursing program is definitely hard work because, it is a heavy load of classes to be taking in one semester but, I’m hoping to finish in four years and then move on to graduate school to become a Nurse Anesthetist. The University of Detroit Mercy tends to be more a commuter school but, I chose to live on campus this year, in hopes to meet people, make friendships, form study groups and just get the whole college experience. All in all, I would like to thank the Ric Gonzalez Memorial Foundation for their generous contribution to my education. It has been greatly appreciated I can’t thank you all enough. Hope you enjoy the upcoming holidays with your family.
Thank you for checking in on myself and all the other Ric Gonzalez Scholarship recipients. I know I myself greatly appreciate it and I’m sure everyone else does as well.
Thus far, college has been an interesting transition. As I am from Detroit, living in East Lansing and attending Michigan State University was at first a challenge as I was homesick and had to adjust to the new environment. However I could not be happier. Michigan State has provided me with resources and opportunities that I could have only imagined without the help of your scholarship. Tuition is pricey, yet knowing I do not have to worry about a majority of it definitely alleviates the stress I would have experienced. The classes are very knowledgeable and the professors are very welcoming, While this semester was focused on university required classes, next semester I will begin the extensive science courses I am to take to achieve my degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. I know Michigan State was the best and wisest choice when it came to this major due to the university having extensive resources for it such as a world known botanical garden, several greenhouses, and farms on the outskirts of campus dedicated to this type of research and study.
Thank you so much for checking in, I truly appreciate it and allows me to know that people care about how we students are doing.
As a recipient of the Ric Gonzalez Scholarship, I would like to thank the organization for always believing in me in all of my academic pursuits.
After my time at Notre Dame Preparatory, I studied for at Oakland University, majoring in Cinema Studies and Communications. After three years of studying at OU, I applied for transfer and was accepted into The University of Southern California’s (USC) Film School in Film Criticism, a major focused on critical thinking, the history of film, and studying film under the lens of the great auteurs, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas. As a film student, I have had the delight of interning on the Warner Bros lot at Mad Chance Productions, the company that did American Sniper, among many other wonderful films. At Mad Chance, I read potential scripts for future productions, pitched original film ideas to the creative executives, and of course made coffee runs to pick up my boss’s favorite drink from Starbucks on the daily, but the connections I have made there will be invaluable to my future in the industry. I’m pursuing my passions in writing and scoring music for film and in Film Theory & Criticism in hopes of having my songs in film one day. I’m expected to graduate Undergrad from USC’s Cinematic Arts Program in May of 2017, six years after my time at Notre Dame Preparatory, and my life is filled with joy and appreciation much greater than I could have foreseen as a wide-eyed 18 year old. I would not be where I am today without the continual love, support, and appreciation from my amazing parents, my wonderful education, and the constant support of the Ric Gonzalez Scholarship Foundation.