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Minority Scholarship Winners

4th Quarter, 2007

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 4thQuarter, 2007, Minority Scholarship is Jose Rodriguez.

"Graduate studies are very expensive and loans are too high in interest. By receiving a StraighForward Media Minority Scholarship it will help reduce my need of applying for loans and even to buy my books. Any financial help will help minimize expenses from graduate school."

Read an excerpt from Jose's winning essay here.

3rd Quarter, 2007

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 3rd Quarter, 2007, Minority Scholarship is Jeannett Keibler.

I am currently enrolled at Northwest Vista College and am pursuing my Associates Degree in Teaching. Upon graduation, my plan is to continue my education and obtain a Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (EC- 4th Grade). Naturally, as I get closer to my goal, I know that I am moving in the right direction. For, I most surely have the spirit and the passion to teach. This profession is a part of me and I know it because I have been teaching, unknowingly, since I was a kid myself! It has been a part of me for so long. In any case, as a teacher, I will be given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to society - in ways both obvious and obscure.

Read an excerpt from Jeannett's winning essay here.

2nd Quarter, 2007

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 2nd Quarter, 2007, Minority Scholarship is Vanessa Berryman.

I am a full-time straight A student, part-time waitress, freelance writer, aspiring model and mother to my wonderful little boy Brandon here in my hometown of Tempe, Arizona. I began the pursuit of my education a little later than I had hoped to (at age 22), but am satisfied with all that I have learned in the past two years. I highly doubt that I would have truly appreciated my college education had I entered fresh out of high school.

Currently, I am finishing my Associate degree program through the Maricopa Community College Network, and plan to transfer to Arizona State University for the 2008-2009 school year. There, I will continue my studies to earn a BA in Communications with minors in both Professional Writing and Media Analysis.

Upon my graduation, I aspire to become a Marketing Communications Specialist, a career that will merge my interests and strengths in writing, communication, mass media and advertising.

Read an excerpt from Vanessa's winning essay here.

1st Quarter, 2007

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 1st Quarter, 2007, Minority Scholarship is Diana Valdivia-Rivera.

I am currently attending Western Kentucky University at an extended campus in Elizabethtown Kentucky and I am majoring in Psychology with a minor in Social Work. After graduating in Spring 2008 I am planning on obtaining a Masters Degree in Social Work and hope to gain additional knowledge and experience within the field along the way.

Upon graduation from Western Kentucky University, I am planning on getting into a Masterís Program in Social Work and thereafter going on to complete my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. In the future I would like to work with individuals from multicultural and otherwise diverse backgrounds, and I am consistently trying to increase my knowledge and experience in this particular area. I am currently trying to learn sign language and I am also polishing up my Spanish, since I am not perfectly fluent in this language. I am also constantly on the lookout for multicultural workshops, courses on persons with disabilities, and other courses offered that would contribute to or expand my current point of view within this particular area. I strongly believe that in order for a mutual acceptance within a culturally diverse society to develop, an extensive understanding and appreciation of other cultures and their customs and values is indispensable.

Read an excerpt from Diana's winning essay here.

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 4th Quarter, 2006, Minority Scholarship is Siska Silitonga.

Siska Silitonga is an Indonesian radio journalist. She is the China Correspondent for an independent Indonesian radio called Radio 68H. Her efforts made it possible for KBR 68H to become the first official Indonesian news bureau in China. Her passion is to tell ordinary peopleís stories, especially those who are underrepresented and oppressed. For her, journalism is not a career choice, but an obligation to society. Siska is currently finishing her Masterís in Media Studies at New College of California in San Francisco. She will return to Beijing next year and looks forward to covering the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Read an excerpt from Siska's winning essay here.

3rd Quarter, 2006

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 3rd Quarter, 2006, Minority Scholarship is Elvia Lopez-Hernandez.

In 2001, I applied to college to study the B.A in English Language Teaching. Even though my family was having serious economical problems, I could afford my tuition, school material and rent with an economical scholarship I got at my school and some savings I got from my work in a herbal store. Fortunately, I could keep that scholarship until I graduate.

During the last two semesters of my major, I did some professional practices in a Language Center. As practitioners, we had to help teachers to teach some lessons applying different teaching methods, approaches, and techniques. It was a good experience for me since I was doing what I like, to teach.

After I graduated from college (2005), I was giving some English lessons to a group of children in my neighborhood, as well as I was teaching in an Institute to a group of teenagers. I did that for about three months.

In January 3rd, 2006, I came to the United States in a program called Cultural Care Au pair. I took the decision to apply to this program because I was willing to improve my English level, to learn about American culture, and besides that because I love children.

I got to Purcellville, Virginia to live with a host family in order to take care of a three-month baby, live together with the family to learn about their customs, and traditions. I had also the opportunity to take some credits in the Northern Virginia Community Center. I took some classes such as: Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, Advanced Writing, Accent Improvement.

Currently I am taking a class titled American Culture. Moreover, I am enrolled in the Institute of Childrenís Literature; I am taking a distance course to write books for children. I am lucky to have as my personal instructor a professional writer, Constance McAllister.

Read an excerpt from Elvia's winning essay here.

2nd Quarter, 2006

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 2nd Quarter, 2006, Minority Scholarship is Katie Miller, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, UCSB in Middle Eastern History. She spent a year abroad studying in Jerusalem and traveling throughout the Middle East: Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Israel.

"I am also a musician, a singer and songwriter. I play guitar and electronically record and produce my own music. My life has taken many twists and turns, but one theme that has remained constant throughout, is my interest in exploring and learning, experiencing life to the fullest, and my passion for social justice for all people.."

Read an excerpt from Katie's winning essay here.

1st Quarter, 2006

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 1st Quarter, 2006, Minority Scholarship is Thu Nguyen.

"Growing up from a Vietnamese family, I was always pressured to do well in school, to succeed every task handed to me and to perform it with flying colors. My family instilled in me good work ethics and independence, more so by pressure than by encouragement. My mother always dreamt of having a daughter who will become a doctor, a surgeon, or even a nurse to accomplish her dream of the medical field. My sister chose her own path, thus more pressure was forced upon me to do better than her and to become what is expected of most Asian parents, a doctor."

Please click here to read an excerpt from Thu's winning essay.

4th Quarter, 2005

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 4th Quarter, 2005, Minority Scholarship is Nazia Kazi. Nazia is currently enrolled at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She is focusing on policy work and services to immigrants and refugees.

"My family comes from Bombay, India, and I was born in Chicago. I spent my early teen years as an expatriate in Dubai, U.A.E., and then returned to Chicago. I speak Hindi and Urdu and have studied Arabic. My family practices Islam during a time when American Muslims are heavily persecuted. This has been a formative part of my identity. I recently presented a paper at Emory Law School’s Feminism and Legal Theory Conference about Muslim women and human rights. Eventually, I hope to contribute to the resources available to women of color in the United States, in terms of developing research and services that are culturally competent. I want to work toward building alliances between different populations of color and understanding the similarities between all of our struggles."

Read an excerpt from Nazia's winning essay here.

3rd Quarter, 2005

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 3rd Quarter, 2005, Minority Scholarship is Ho Hoi Ying. She is in the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) program in California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP). She is in her second year.

Before coming to the United States in 2004, she worked in Hong Kong as a speech pathologist for children with special needs. "There I met and treated a lot of children diagnosed with autism and have developed a keen interest in finding more effective intervention methods for them. So I started to participate in psychology classes and eventually decided to further my education and experience in the field of psychology."

"After my graduation, I plan to bring my expertise and the most state-of-the-art services back to Hong Kong or Asia. I also want to utilize my background in Chinese culture and my Western knowledge and combine them to improve the models of intervention. To make good intervention accessible to a big population, I also have the vision of developing a service center that would provide various services for children and families. To this end, I have continued to endeavor. For example, I am pursuing a second degree in organizational studies (Master of Arts in Organizational Behavior) at my school. With knowledge and insights from both psychological and organizational training, I believe I can contribute to a better tomorrow for the children and families who need help in our society."

Read an excerpt from Ho Hoi's winning essay here.

2nd Quarter, 2005

StraightForward Media is proud to announce that the winner of our 2nd Quarter, 2005, Minority Scholarship is Twyla Baker-Demaray. Twyla is a graduate student at the University of North Dakota.

Twyla Baker-Demaray was born in North Dakota and raised on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in New Town, ND. She attended college first at Bismarck State College and at the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID. She holds a Bachelorís degree in Environmental Geology & Technology and is currently a graduate student at the University of North Dakota, where she expects to obtain her M.S. in Education/Research Methods in December 2005.

She has been a Graduate Research Assistant at the National Resource Center on Native American Aging at the Center for Rural Health, UND, since January 2004. Her work includes assisting hundreds of tribes throughout the United States in completing a nationwide Native elder needs assessment to be used by tribes and government agencies in providing services and care. Her thesis focuses on elder abuse in Native populations.

Twyla is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, or the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations of Fort Berthold. She is born to the Water Buster Clan, and is a daughter of the Knife Clan. She and her husband Allan live in Grand Forks with their three children, Red Earth age five, Brings Rain age four, and Stands Holy Woman age two.

Read an excerpt from Twyla's winning essay here.

Will you be the next winner? You can't win unless you apply. You can apply online now -- you might be our next winner!

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