Richland College student Ezra Calado was recently named one of 11 Terry Transfer Scholars at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) for the 2016-2017 school year. This highly competitive scholarship provides full tuition for up to three years of undergraduate or graduate study, housing, a stipend for other college-related expenses and funding for a separate study abroad semester.
“I was really relieved and shocked when I found out I received the Terry Transfer Scholarship,” said Calado. “I set a goal in high school that I would graduate college debt free, and I thought it would be impossible because I knew that transfer scholarships at full tuition level were very competitive. I’m sure that UTD will be a place that can elevate my leadership experiences and help me grow as a student and future professional.”
The Terry Transfer Scholarship is awarded to non-traditional students who are transferring from a Texas community college, are pursuing their first baccalaureate degree and have been accepted for admission to a Terry-affiliated public university in Texas. Recipients are chosen based on academic excellence, leadership experience in their school and community and financial need. Calado was invited to apply to the Terry Transfer Scholarship program by UTD, where she completed a rigorous application and interview process before being accepted to begin in fall 2016. She will major in accounting and global business and minor in international political economy.
“I’ve known Ezra for two years, as she is an honors student at Richland and executive vice president of the Honors Student Organization,” said Kathleen Stephens, Ph.D., coordinator of the Richland College Honors Academy. “Ezra is deserving of this scholarship because she has enthusiastically served the other honors students through her leadership, her dedication to her honors courses, and her exceptionally uplifting, cheerful attitude toward everyone she meets and works with at Richland. She is an outstanding Thunderduck, and UT Dallas will benefit from her commitment to her education and her leadership skills. Richland College, especially the honors program, will miss her, and we are very proud of her.”
In addition to serving as the executive vice president/vice president of events for the Honors Student Organization, Calado also served as the vice president of the Student Government Association and was a DCCCD Muse Scholar, a 2014 APIASF AANAPISI Scholar, and a Phi Theta Kappa member during her time at Richland College. Calado was also named the 2016 Amidon-Beauchamp Richland Student Leader of the Year, which is an award given annually to one student leader on campus.
Although Calado is very involved in Richland College, she stays active in her community as well. She was crowned Miss Teen Asian American Texas 2012-2013, where she advocated for stronger cultural identity in the local Asian community, along with the inclusion of the arts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Currently, she uses this platform while working on more recent projects, including a crowd-sourced digital companion that will assist refugees and immigrants by helping them to better integrate into their new communities. Her future goals include going to law school, becoming a human rights lawyer and finding a role in public policy. She hopes to strengthen the presence of Asian women in politics, influence legislation and break down the economic barriers that hinder the creation of practical policies in human rights affairs.
“Attending Richland College has been the best decision I’ve made for my future,” said Calado. “While the price and location are a plus, it’s actually the opportunities that I’ve had the privilege of utilizing that have made me successful. I thought that I would be an uninvolved student just trying to finish class because I couldn’t imagine being involved on campus with a baby at home. However, the environment at Richland is so unique, and there’s no discrimination when it comes to involvement and enriching yourself. If you want to be a leader, or if you want to be involved, it doesn’t matter what your identity is; there’s an opportunity for you.”
The Terry Foundation is one of the largest providers of private scholarships in Texas. It has awarded scholarships to more than 4,200 students in Texas since it was established in 1986. Howard and Nancy Terry created the foundation in order to give aid to students who showed promise of future leadership distinction who may not otherwise be able to attend college. Terry Scholars are made up of transfer students and freshmen students, who are challenged to reach their highest potential in scholarship, leadership and service to their university, the state of Texas and the world. Approximately $3 million in stipends have been given this year to Terry Scholars at UTD.
The Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is now accepting applications from Richland College students for the APIASF Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander – Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Scholarship Program.
The scholarships range between $2,500 and $5,000 and total more than $625,000 for the 2014-15 academic year. This AANAPISI designation makes scholarships available to Richland College Asian American and Pacific Islander students who are enrolled full-time and seeking degrees.
The application deadline is 8 p.m. CST on Oct. 15, 2014. Students should visit apiasf.org for application eligibility requirements and to apply.
Richland College is one of only 15 higher education institutions in the U.S. through which the APIASF is offering the AANAPISI Scholarship Program.
“These scholarships give qualified students the opportunity to achieve their educational goals at Richland College,” said Zarina Blankenbaker, Richland College’s vice president for teaching and learning. “We are proud to partner with APIASF and help these students succeed in the classroom.”
Richland College received a five-year AANAPISI grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 that will total more than $1.4 million in funding. With 14-16 percent of Richland College’s student population comprised of Asian American students and at least half demonstrating financial need, the AANAPISI funding impacts many of the college’s underserved students.
Richland College’s AANAPISI program is focused on three initiatives: creating a college-wide understanding of the effects of poverty on students; adapting the “Achieving the Dream” principles to Richland’s culture and capabilities, resulting in improved success in developmental education and gatekeeper courses; and operating a textbook lending library supporting 50 minority, low-income male students annually.
For information on APIASF, visit apiasf.org.