October Feature Story: Erik Zamudio

My name is Erik Zamudio and I am a 2010 Anthony Munoz Foundation scholar.  It’s hard to believe that it was almost three years ago that I first received the phone call from Anthony.  That phone call changed my life and remains one of the most amazing blessings I have experienced.  The Foundation has not only provided me with financial support to allow me to attend college, but has also introduced me to some of the most amazing individuals around.  I am so happy to say that I am a member of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation family and words cannot express my gratitude to the Muñoz family, the Foundation and the volunteers.

As I mentioned, the Foundation helped me to achieve financial stability which ultimately allowed me to attend my top college choice for education, the University of Cincinnati.  With the help of the AMF I have been able to get involved in several organizations and have even been able to start my own small non-profit.  Currently I am a member of the Honors Marketing program with a minor in Psychology and a certificate in both Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  I am involved in the American Marketing Association as well as the Marketing Leadership Circle (which consists of the top students in the marketing field).  I am also involved in the Entrepreneurship Club and the Sales Club, among other business-related organizations.  Over the past year I have developed marketing campaigns for the first UC-sponsored application for smartphone devices, the Freestore Foodbank and their new catering line (Cincinnati Cooks in particular), and currently I am working in a product design studio for the Boeing Company.  While all of these organizations are great, I have not forgotten the huge impact that the AMF has had on my ability to participate in such clubs.  Rather than having the time to make an impact on my community, I would be working full-time trying to cover my school expenses.  Along with financial help, the Anthony Muñoz Foundation has taught me how to treat others.  It still amazes me that people such as Anthony and the members of the AMF are able to demonstrate such selflessness in a world that’s so focused on the individual.  Through the foundation’s example I have found the importance of helping others.  This past summer I created a small non-profit that provides the indigent workers at the River Downs Race Track clinic with fresh produce and healthy food alternatives.  I have been a long-time volunteer at the clinic and only this past year began to take an interest in the diet of the workers and their families.  I noticed that a common problem within the track was that workers were malnourished and unable to get a balance of the essential vitamins needed to endure long work days.  After realizing this, a friend and I started our own garden and donated all of our produce to the workers in a free farmer’s market setup.  Every other week we would head down to the track and set up between four and five full picnic tables worth of produce for the clinic patients and workers to take.  Although the idea started off slowly, by the end of the summer we were providing produce to nearly 200 workers and their families.  The AMF taught me to actively search for the issues in the community and to reach out and solve them.  There are individuals who need help right here in the Cincinnati area and most people tend to overlook them.  However, the Anthony Muñoz Foundation finds them and directly impacts them.  By simply following their example, I feel as though I have been able to impact my community.  Though the farmer’s market was a small start, I know that great things will come if I continue to follow the mission of the Foundation.

I know that I will never be able to fully capture all of the gratitude that I feel for the Anthony Muñoz Foundation and all of its members, but please know that you have truly impacted my life.  It’s so strange to think of where I would be had I not received that phone call telling me about the scholarship.  I know that I would not be where I am today, and I am so grateful to know that the Foundation looks out for kids like me.  To everyone at the AMF, I sincerely thank you for what you do.  The hard work that you put into the organization does not go unnoticed.  I can speak for all scholars and members of the community when I say you are truly a blessing and you have changed my life.

Sincerely,
Erik Zamudio

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