Straight “A” Spotlight

Hey everyone, it’s the Straight “A” intern, Courtney!

It’s that time of year again! The nominations for our Straight “A” Scholarship are in full swing, but the deadline is quickly approaching.

The Straight “A” Scholarship is a great opportunity for high school students in the Tri-State area. This scholarship awards students who are pursuing Academic excellence, Athletic achievement, is Actively serving in the community while possessing a strong Ambition, a winning Attitude and the ability to overcome Adversity. Any student (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors) with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA can be nominated, but only seniors are eligible to receive the scholarship money.

We will be awarding thousands of dollars to eighteen senior finalists who will be honored at our luncheon at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse on Tuesday, April 16th. You do not want to miss out on this opportunity!

Let’s take a look at our Straight “A” Spotlight, where we feature past scholarship recipients, their stories and their recent successes. Here’s one of our 2018 Finalists, Ben Tobbe’s story.

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“I had begun feeling pain in my lower abdomen during the summer before my junior year. I figured my pain would dissipate eventually, but it kept getting worse. I became kind of numb. It was a feeling that is so impossible to describe: I was feeling so much but also nothing at the same time. When the results from my CT scan came back, the doctors concluded that the pain was being caused by a large mass, believed to be a germ cell tumor. They wanted to bring me in for more tests the next day to see if it was malignant.

The next day, I was at the hospital waiting for a verdict. After what felt like an eternity, I was dubbed cancer-free. But there was still one problem. I still had an enormous mass in my body called a lymphatic malformation. But I wasn’t going to let it stop me from living my life.

Fighting through the pain so I can go to school was one thing, but getting myself ready to get back on the court was much tougher. After a summer of feeling out my body and fighting through days of pain where I couldn’t even walk, I took the court on November 28th for the first game of the season.

Throughout this last year I have come to realize that life will knock you down. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how you many times you get back up.”

We contacted him to see what he was up to a year later, and this is what he had to say about the impact this opportunity had on his life.

“I am currently majoring in chemistry at Northern Kentucky University. College is definitely a big adjustment from high school, but I think I have started pretty well as I finished my first semester with a 4.0 GPA. I still plan on attending pharmacy school to earn my Doctor of Pharmacy degree after my undergraduate schooling.

The Anthony Muñoz Foundation and the Straight “A” Scholarship have, in my opinion, been a crucial part of my successful start to my college career. Worrying about how to pay for college is one of the biggest stressors in student has to face, but the scholarship allowed me to attend in NKU on a full scholarship (using my academic scholarship from NKU and the Straight “A” Scholarship)! I believe that lifting the weight of debt off of my shoulders allowed me to focus more on my studying and helped me achieve in all my classes.

I am very thankful for everything the Anthony Muñoz Foundation has provided for me!”

Ben is on the road to success and we can’t wait to see where this journey takes him!

Ready to nominate a deserving student? Click here.

You can find more information about the Straight “A” Scholarship opportunity at munozfoundation.orgIf you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at straighta@munozfoundation.org.  

-Courtney

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“Where Are They Now” Wednesday: Matt Krabacher

Today we will be featuring Matt Krabacher, a 2014 Scholarship Fund recipient to see how his first semester of college has been.

About Matt

Matt is a graduate of Stephen T. Badin High School and is a current freshman at Xavier University. He is majoring in nursing and holds a 3.25 GPA after his first semester. Matt currently spends his free time staying active and participating in intramural basketball. He also helps with his local 4-H group when he is home and over the summer break. He also currently lives in the same residence hall wing as all the freshman Xavier basketball players.

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College Life

So far, Matt has enjoyed college. It has been a big change in his life, but he has found that Xavier is the best fit for him and he couldn’t ask for anything more, except for less homework. $20,000 has enabled him to pursue his dreams of a higher education; it has allowed him to focus his attention on school and not so much of the cost of tuition, for not only himself but his family as well, as his medical bills exhausted their college savings. This scholarship, along with Matt’s summer job, have allowed him to focus on school and transitioning into college.

Why You Should Apply

“Knowing that I have $20,000 towards college that I don’t have to worry about is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Knowing I have that money already towards school has allowed me to keep myself focused on my studies. I did not have to look for work right away this first semester and was able to make the adjustment to college my priority. I am driven towards success even more so because the Anthony Muñoz Foundation has shown their faith in me. I want to not only succeed for myself, but for them as well. Every semester, I am reminded of and appreciate the generosity of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation in receiving this gift. Furthermore, my advice to potential recipients is that you have already overcome adversity, so know you are able to work hard and now you have to support of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation to help you continue your success. This scholarship is a means for you to get a higher education.”

You can learn a bit more about Matt and the adversity he had to overcome by watching his acceptance speech here.


As Matt said, you have the chance to further your education and you can take that chance by filling out the application here. You can also share the opportunity with someone you know whose hard work deserves to be recognized!

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald

Events Intern

Scholarship Spotlight: DJ Davis

It’s time to catch up with a past Scholarship Fund recipient. This week we are featuring Dennis (DJ) Davis, a 2012 winner.

About DJ

DJ graduated from from Hillsboro High School in 2012. He is currently a junior at the University of Cincinnati majoring in Operations Management and holds a 3.68 GPA. Interestingly, he has family on three continents. As for his free time, when he is not tutoring for Whiz Kids, his main hobby is running. He is currently training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon.

College Life

DJ  said his college experience has been fun. He has made good friends, been to numerous sports games and even saw President Obama on campus. At first, it was a big adjustment, but has been a good experience and an opportunity for growth. blog graphic

Why You Should Apply

In DJ’s own words:

“The $20,000 scholarship has really been a blessing. Without it, I don’t know what I’d do. I didn’t have the resources to pay for college at the time, but earning the scholarship lets me breathe a lot easier. Not worrying about $20,000 in college expenses is very calming, so I can focus more on school and less on money. I remember getting the phone call from the Foundation and I think I might have exploded with excitement. To be able to go through so many hardships and still earn an opportunity to go to to college–I had never felt better. Earning my degree has always been a huge goal of mine and because of the scholarship, I get to achieve that goal next year. I can’t thank the Foundation enough for the help they’ve given me. If you’re thinking about applying, you should! The Foundation is great and so caring! I remember having my doubts about sending in my application, but I am so glad I did!”

Take DJ’s advice and apply today! The application can be found here. If you know someone who would be a great fit for the Scholarship Fund, you can also share this information with them. Kaitlyn Fitzgerald Events Intern

“Where Are They Now” Wednesday: Logan Frederick

Today we will be featuring Logan Frederick, a 2014 Scholarship Fund recipient. This is what we found out about Logan nearly a year after receiving her $20,000 scholarship:

About Logan

She was a 2014 Clinton-Massie High School graduate and is a current student at Wright State University studying nursing with a 3.3 GPA. When Logan is not studying hard, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, who is from England and who she met him a day after the Scholarship Dinner at the Christian summer camp they worked at together. She also enjoys reading the Divergent series, watching Grey’s Anatomy, running, listening to music, and hanging out with or talking to friends and loved ones.

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Logan with her brother and Anthony during the ceremony where she received her scholarship.

Why You Should Apply

This is what Logan had to say about the impact of the scholarship on her life:

“I am so blessed to be an award-winning recipient of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation Scholarship. The $20,000 scholarship has impacted me immensely and has given me a chance to further my education. My goal of being a nurse is now more attainable than if I hadn’t received the scholarship. At the moment, college is going very well and I enjoy working hard to reach my goals. It feels good knowing that there is $20,000 towards my school that I don’t have to worry about. It gives me a chance to focus on just school instead of worrying about school and finances. My advice to potential recipients is to keep working hard no matter what adversity you have to overcome. You should apply for this scholarship because you most certainly can win if you work hard to earn it!”

You can also learn more about Logan’s story here.


Take Logan’s advice and fill out the application here; there is nothing to lose! You can also share the opportunity with someone you know whose hard work deserves to be recognized!

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald

Events Intern

“Where Are They Now” Wednesday: Mike Kruer

Today we will be featuring Mike Kruer, a 2011 Scholarship Fund recipient. We caught up with Mike to see what he was up to after graduation.

About Mike

A Highlands High School graduate and a fall 2014 graduate, Mike was also awarded $20,000 by the Foundation. Now that Mike has completed his college career, he volunteers for  the Alexandria Police Department as a Explorer Post Adviser. He also enjoys playing soccer, going skiing, and volunteering a local animal shelters. He likes to live an active life, so he constantly tries to find more things to do to keep himself busy.

College Life

During the first weekend home from school of Mike’s freshman year, his grandfather, who raised him, passed away. This motivated Mike to complete his degree for his grandpa. Despite this incredibly hard time, Mike still had a blast at college. He made lifelong friends and learned a lot. For him, college was a real time for learning and becoming responsible in many areas, like making sure to get to class on time, managing a budget and keeping his grades where they should be. In college, Mike studied criminal justice and learned from some incredible professors.  The experiences and the people he met and learned from have influenced who he is today and helped him become the person he is in the professional world.

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Why You Should Apply

Mike’s story is moving, and we are happy to be a part of it. The impact the Foundation has had on him is also inspiring:

“The Scholarship provided to me by the Foundation has made college a much more manageable task.  In today’s times, many college students have to take out a loan or multiple loans, as well as juggle school with a job to make ends meet. I was blessed with the scholarship so I just had to focus on my studies. This was very important so that I could achieve my full potential academically. I made the Dean’s List, which is no small feat. Without the Foundation’s scholarship, college would have been a lot more stressful and I probably would not have finished in three and a half years.  This Foundation has made local student’s education dreams come true. I know it made mine come true. I am a college graduate with no debt and no financial stress. I appreciate everything this organization has done for me and all the staff and volunteers at the Foundation for making such a huge impact on the Tri-State area. The Foundation is changing lives and is an asset to the Tri-State area! For all those potential candidates out there that are reading this, please apply for all the scholarships and awards you can; money should never be an obstacle when you are chasing your dreams and your future.”

We want to help high school seniors like you have the same great college experience Mike had! The application for the scholarship can be found here, or you can share the opportunity with someone who could benefit from it.

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald

Events Intern

Scholarship Fund: Where Are They Now?

             What is larger than the population of Canada, Poland and Australia? The number of American college students that graduate with student debt – over 40 million – four times the size of Sweden! Here at AMF, we have made a commitment that has grown to 6 annual, $20,000 scholarships, and $725,000 gifted to date to combat this shocking statistic. We understand that the monumental accomplishment of being accepted and pursuing a college education often comes with an even larger price tag. With tuition costs soaring higher each year, the possibility of college has become daunting and sometimes impossible for many individuals who may not have the financial resources to fund their education or have hesitation for what can feel like a peaceful surrender to the huge undertaking and responsibility of paying off student loans.

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This week, we are catching up with Alma Oñate, a 2012 graduate of Hamilton High School and AMF Scholarship winner. On paper, she is an ambitious and driven rising star that has taken full advantage of this opportunity and has bright plans for her future. Although her schedule is packed full of honors classes, homework, multiple jobs and volunteering, she still manages to make time for her family and friends and has a real understanding of the importance of enjoying life’s sweetest moments. Nearing the end of her sophomore year at NKU, she is majoring in biochemistry on a pre-med track with a minor in the honors program. Upon graduation, she plans to attend medical school and continue to fuel her passion for helping children to as a pediatrician, with a dream to one day work with “Doctors Without Borders”. Let’s see what she’s been up to!

 How have you become involved with AMF?

 I volunteer each week with AMF at their Whiz Kids program at Roberts Paideai Academy. I decided I wanted to give back to the organization that has given so much to my family and I. This program is one of my favorite activities because I get to work one-on-one with Emily, my awesome second grader. We work on her reading skills, I teach her techniques for improvement and in return, she teaches me to never take life too seriously, and that is A-ok to be a little sassy sometimes! This experience has been a wonderful opportunity that has allowed us both to grow and I admire when a program has the power to do that. I have come very far and have accomplished a lot in almost two, short years. None of this would have been possible without the Anthony Muñoz Foundation Scholarship. I have said this before and I will say it again, this scholarship has taken a huge burden off of my back. Without this scholarship, I would have probably had to work a full time job as a server, and would not be capable of being so involved with such a significant financial burden. I am forever grateful for the scholarship and the support that I have received from the foundation along the way.

 What is your best advice to a high school senior in the same shoes you were two years ago?

I have some words of wisdom I would like to share with students everywhere, but especially to high school students. Do NOT give up. It does not matter how many times people shut the door in your face, how many times they tell you “no” or don’t believe that you can do it, or how many challenges or hurdles you’ve faced in your life. You CAN overcome it all. I know it is may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Apply for every scholarship you can, even if you don’t think you stand a chance, because you might just be the one that gets that exciting call, congratulating you on your win. Word hard, do not give up but never forget to be human, too. And finally, SMILE – a lot. Your smile is your most powerful weapon and it will take you places. I promise.

 How has your college experience been so far?

As for NKU, I love it here! I really like all of my classes, and my favorite course so far has been my honors class on witchcraft and magic. The class isn’t at all about learning spells or witchcraft itself, but rather it takes a deeper look into the cultures that practice magic from an anthropologic perspective. This class has given me a different view of the world and I believe it has made me a more understanding individual and more capable of embracing different cultures and diversity.

 What you are you involved in?

Throughout these past two years, I have become very involved both on and off campus with different activities. I currently hold four positions: a chemistry/biology tutor, chemistry stockroom associate, STEM Ambassador (science, technology, engineering, and math), and on the weekends, I serve at a Mexican restaurant and teach a Sunday school class at my church.

 What are your plans for the summer?

This summer I will continue working in the research laboratory to design and synthesize new compounds aimed at treating breast cancer. Sure, with so many jobs and a full course load, plus homework, tests and quizzes, things can get very busy but I make sure to relax and enjoy life. I love to read books, take naps, and spend time with my family and friends. I’m an ice cream lover, I enjoy going on walks and I sometimes pretend to be a rock star when driving my car (shhh!). And if you can’t already tell, I appreciate a sense of humor and always welcome a good joke.

The Anthony Muñoz Scholarship Fund awards a $20,000 reward to six deserving Tri-state seniors who are graduating from a high school in one of the 21 counties eligible for consideration and entering college in freshman standing this fall. In 2012, the foundation brought operations in-house which allowed us to reward an additional scholarship each year. Our committee considers a wide variety of accomplishments and stories with a focus on overcoming personal adversity, financial need, academic performance and a student who has exhibited a leadership role(s) in or outside of the classroom, and shows admirable dedication to making an impact by giving back to the community.

 Could you or a senior you know use $20,000 for college? It could be YOUR year! The clock is ticking with the April 30th deadline. Download your application now at munozfoundation.org, and learn more about eligibility requirements and application information. Follow us on Twitter @munozfoundation, for our exclusive scholarship tips and updates!

 Questions? Send us a message at experience@munozfoundation.org – were looking forward to hearing from you!