Category Archives: News

Hermano Steve Lucin Announces Scholarship for the Aspiring Creative

February 2013

halucinatedScholarshipLogo_pageHalucinated Design, Inc., a New York City based graphic design and motion graphics company, announced today the release of the Halucinated Scholarship 2013 application. This scholarship application is for high school seniors or college bound students who are aspiring designers in any and all creative fields.

“Money should never be the reason why one does not get an education,” said Steve Lucin, CEO of Halucinated Design, “Although I am not the wealthiest designer in the world (yet), I still believe in giving back to my community, especially to those with a passion and in financial need. This is why I am giving away a $1,000 scholarship!”

Awards include a choice of an Adobe Creative Cloud membership (1 or 2 years), a Tuts+ Premium membership (1 year), or a $1,000 check delivered straight to the recipient’s school. For more information on these memberships, please visit adobe.com/creativecloud and
tutsplus.com respectively.

The application includes a project that the student must submit online. The project is as follows:
Design something creative that illustrates your passion for your specific creative field. This can be done in absolutely any medium (drawing, painting, animation, digital media, film, etc.). Also submit
an essay that explains this piece of work. Also make sure to express why you should receive this scholarship and any financial hardship that you may be going through. It can be as long as you want and as short as you dare.

Deadline for application is June 30, 2013 at 12AM. Scholarship winners will be announced on August 10th, 2013 and paid for shortly after.

For more information, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, rules, terms, conditions, and the actual application, please visit halucinated.com/scholarship.

Halucinated Design
The Halucinated Scholarship 2013: For the Aspiring Creative

Hermano Jonathan Pomboza Mentors At-risk Kids As A Member of City Year

July / August 2012

jp_alphaWhen Jonathan Pomboza ’11 dons the tomato-red zip-neck pullover with CITY YEAR emblazoned across the chest in bold black letters, he’s expected to follow some basic rules. No smoking or drinking. Hold the profanity. No jaywalking. Don’t even chew gum. “The guiding principle is that you are a role model at all times you wear the uniform,” says Itai Dinour ’01, who heads the inner-city educational nonprofit that Pomboza joined after graduation. “You remember your first day at Cornell when they told you, ‘Don’t e-mail anything that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times’? Well, when you put on the City Year uniform, what would you not want one of your students to see you doing?”

Last fall, Pomboza began a ten-month stint at Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens, whose high dropout rate had put it on a list of “persistently lowest achieving” institutions. (In fact, the state Education Department ultimately closed the school, with plans to reopen it in the fall under a new name after a staff overhaul.) The former policy analysis and management major was outside the school at 7:30 every morning to greet the eight or so at-risk ninth graders he’d been assigned to mentor. During the day he was in class with them, helping them with coursework or just providing support and encouragement. Those who didn’t show up for school might well get a phone call asking them where they were. “It makes a huge difference when you know a student by name and say, ‘Joseph, you weren’t in math or English, but I know you were in science. What’s going on? Why didn’t you make it to class?’” says Pomboza, a Queens native who has signed on for a second year as a corps member. “And they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh—someone noticed.’”

Founded by two Harvard law students in 1988, City Year aims to battle the dropout crisis by tapping young adults—most of them recent college graduates—to work with at-risk students in underperforming urban schools. Its staff cites research at Johns Hopkins that found that kids who are off track—having chronic problems with academics, attendance, or behavior—by the sixth grade have just a 25 percent chance of graduating high school.

The nonprofit’s pullover-clad staffers aim to buck those odds by working with students in the third to ninth grades, putting in hours that can stretch from the morning attendance bell to well into the evening. Its corps members, who receive a stipend and an educational grant, are aged seventeen to twenty-four—providing “near-peer” mentorship distinct from that of teachers or parents. Funded by the federal Americorps program as well as by corporate and private donations, City Year has sites in two dozen American cities, as well as in London and Johannesburg, South Africa. “There is amazing untapped potential in human capital,” says Dinour, an ILR alum who signed on after hearing one of City Year’s founders speak on the Hill and went on to help start the New York office, eventually becoming its executive director. “Imagine how different this country would be if every young person did a year of service.”

Cornell has been a major feeder school for City Year. Last year, eighty-five alumni applied to the program, with twenty joining it—making Cornell the number one feeder among private institutions and the fifth overall. Other Cornellians have served as City Year board members or been major donors. “I think it’s embedded in the ethos of the University, going way back to being a land-grant institution—this ethic of service,” says Dinour. “It’s a reason why Teach For America and the Peace Corps have an easy time recruiting on campus. I think that’s representative of who we are as Cornellians, as cheesy as that sounds.”

Carlos Mendoza ’08 joined City Year after earning an economics degree from the Arts college, working in a middle school in Long Island City, Queens. He stayed on for a second year and now serves as a program manager with the New York City office. “The reality is that some of our students don’t have parents who are pushing them or teachers who are investing in them,” says Mendoza, who emigrated from Nicaragua as a child and grew up in Florida and Georgia. “So when someone shows investment in them, it’s what they’ve been looking for—and waiting for—for years.”

— Beth Saulnier

Cornell Alumni Magazine
City Year, a nonprofit that mentors at-risk kids, is a draw for many civic-minded young alums

LUL Rallies Around Brother Jonel González Who Loses 7 Relatives In Accident

May 2012

gonzalez_familyOne of the most frustrating things for an adviser to handle in regard to fraternities and sororities is this stigma that they are all about partying and drinking. No one talks about their philanthropic focus in programming and community service projects. Even knowing the positive work these organizations contribute, I still push for a better sense of community within these Greek organizations, worried about the increase of apathy with each entering class. However, my worries were replaced with pride with the recent collaboration of support toward Jonel Gonzalez.

It turns out that tragedies have a way of bringing people together. The thought of mortality can make anyone want to hug the person right next to them, specifically if the tragedy involves a person you can closely relate to. This week I have seen groups of students come together in support of the Bronx River Parkway tragedy and family recovery Gonzalez, through the leadership of Latino fraternities and sororities.

On Sunday, April 29, Jonel lost seven family members in one of the deadliest accidents New York City has had in recent memory. He lost his mother, aunt, sister, cousins, and grandparents in a car accident in the Bronx. The car spun out of control and flew over a guardrail where the vehicle landed 50 feet below, inside the Bronx Zoo.

News spread quickly over social media. I first read about this on Sunday night on Twitter. My students were mentioning it and I grew concerned that I might know the young man. Upon further reading, it turns out that he is a new member of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. at Pace University in New York City. My heart sank further because I have grown close to many of the students in the Theta chapter here at Syracuse University — I know they must be feeling Jonel’s pain. Additionally, I know many brothers from this chapter when I was an undergraduate myself.

Being one of the advisers for SU’s NALFO (National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations), I have taken the time to get to know as many students as I can. It’s been hard to trust they understand the notion of community when they give off this aura that only their own brothers and sisters matter and not the council in general. Their internal struggle to find the balance between competition and community has held them back to the point where I found myself asking them questions such as, “Why did you not participate in Latino Heritage Month?”

Such frustrations are met with silence and shrugs. Yet, I’ve found that as they become upperclassmen, they begin to realize that three letters on their chest mean more than just being a part of an organization, than a process that leads to initiation. Those letters mean that you are automatically a leader on the Syracuse University campus.

I was about to send my condolences when one of my students, Brandon Medina, contacted me to help his fraternity spread the word about this tragedy. He explains to me that the Theta chapter is trying very hard, in conjunction with other chapters of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, to raise money for funeral costs and Jonel should not be alone in figuring out this very trying time. I found myself fighting tears because this is what leadership is about. It is about getting up and being there for other people during the hardest of times. Brandon simply tells me that Jonel may not be a student at Syracuse, but he is still HIS fraternity brother.

While this is highly commendable on a fraternity level, over the last few days, Brandon and the rest of the brothers from the Theta chapter have been posting on Twitter and Facebook consistently. They began to gather the support of all the fraternities and sororities in NALFO and National PanHellic Council (NPHC). You can see them out on campus passing out fliers for a vigil they intend to have at Hendricks Chapel. They are asking people to give just a few dollars to a fund that is now at more than $85,000 in less than a week.

It is not easy to turn pain into something positive, but often it takes a terrible event like this for people to really see the benefits of the Greek community. Latino Greeks are often criticized for not caring about anything but themselves but at this moment, I could not disagree more. I have had several Syracuse University students and alums from different fraternity and sororities contact me about spreading the word about the Gonzalez family in hopes that Jonel and his family can be taken care of. I even had a request to write a blog about this effort.

Why is this one thing so significant? From what I can see at SU, Greek students from every council are coming together to support this cause. They have committed their support because of the same sentiment — one of their own is hurting. Jonel may have lost a family, but he has gained a community.

Huffington Post / College
A Family Lost But a Community Gained

Jason Curley Awarded Highly Competitive Udall Scholarship

April 2012

jcurleyThree Dartmouth students have been granted scholarship awards from the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, which recognizes college sophomores and juniors who either intend to pursue careers related to the environment, or who intend to pursue careers in Native health care or tribal public policy and are Native American or Alaska Native. Jason Curley ’13 was one of 80 students nationwide to be awarded a Udall Scholarship, and Nicole Kanayurak ’13 and Montana Wilson ’13 were two of 50 honorable mentions.

Assistant Dean for Scholarship Advising Kristin O’Rourke, says this was the most competitive year to date for the Udall scholarship program, which saw a large increase in the number of applications. “To have one winner and two honorable mentions during the most competitive year shows how strong our students are,” says O’Rourke.

Curley, a Native American Studies major and digital arts minor from Ganado, Ariz., received an award of up to $5,000 from the Udall Foundation. He plans to earn a postbaccalaureate degree following graduation and then attend medical school. A Navajo/Diné, he intends to return to the Navajo Nation after completing medical school, to practice medicine and develop more effective health care policies.

“I’m very honored to have received this distinguished award because it recognizes something I’ve always aspired to, which is service, and more importantly service to Native Americans,” says Curley, who is a member of Casque & Gauntlet Senior Society and Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity, and who received the Office of First Year Students’ annual prize for outstanding male student.

Curley has also served as the undergraduate resident assistant for Dartmouth’s Native American House. “Being awarded a Udall Scholarship confirms to me that other people have faith and trust in me and think that I’ll do good work for my people.”

This spring, while on a D-Plan leave term, Curley will continue community health outreach in the Navajo Nation, work which he had started with Partners in Health the summer after his first year at Dartmouth.

“Community health outreach and policy-making that has to do with the holistic and individual wellbeing of people are the things I’m very much interested in,” says Curley, who is also a member of Occom Pond Singers and has served on the Dartmouth Pow-Wow Committee. “And having been a part of this community health outreach program, I feel that there’s no one better to address the health needs of my people than one of our own.”

Dartmouth Now
Three Dartmouth Students Recognized by Udall Scholarship Program

Alvaro Ruiz Featured in University of South Florida’s College of Business Top 25 Under 25 Program

March 2012

alvaro-ruizThe first in his family to attend college, Alvaro Ruiz has proven to be successful with a 3.91 GPA while double majoring in finance and international business. He is a participant in the College of Business Corporate Mentor Program, and, after becoming a member of the Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, frequently volunteers within the Tampa Bay area. In fact, Ruiz has helped build several homes in the community via Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, an organization that repairs the homes of low-income families that house senior citizens or persons with disabilities.

While many students find extra time to serve their community, Ruiz also serves his country as a soldier in the United States Army. Balancing the life and schedule of a citizen-soldier has not been an easy task – Ruiz has had to take mandatory breaks in his education in order to fulfill military duties. He says the Army has instilled in him discipline, motivation, and purpose – all tools that have helped him succeed in a classroom environment as well.

Acting as a leader to many, Ruiz was recently promoted to corporal in the Army and has been recommended for advancement to sergeant. After graduation, he plans to pursue an MBA.

This summer he intends to study Portuguese at the U.S. Army’s Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. Ruiz plans to use that knowledge to study abroad in Latin America in the following year.

USF College of Business
Alvaro Ruiz, International Business 25 Under 25 Program

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