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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August Feature Story: Alma Oñate

This month, we are featuring Alma Oñate, a $20,000 AMF scholarship recipient and graduate of Hamilton High School in 2012.  Alma has just completed her first year of college at Northern Kentucky University, obtaining recognition on the President’s List and Dean’s List for her outstanding grades.  Please read the letter below from Alma to see how AMF has impacted her life and her plans during her upcoming years at NKU.

Alma Oñate

Dear Anthony Muñoz Foundation,

I would like to open up by saying that my first year in college has been a blessing – and of course such a great year could not have been possible without the help of the scholarship that the Anthony Muñoz Foundation and its partners have granted me with such generosity.  In my first year in college, I have been able to achieve many accomplishments.  For example, first semester, I was put on the President’s List, while my second semester I was able to obtain Dean’s List, both for having excellent grades and GPA.  This school year, I have been able to achieve academic excellence, despite having to face some challenging courses like Calculus II and Chemistry.

I also joined SAACS, the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, my first semester.  SAACS puts together many activities meant to foment a sense of community amongst chemistry and biochemistry majors, as well as bringing chemistry to the community, including young children with free demos in libraries and elementary schools.  Second semester, I officially became the Wellness Ambassador for the SAACS group.  I also became a part of the Presidential Ambassadors, an elite group of 45 students that is in charge of giving tours to prospective students, service at commencement ceremonies, and working different receptions at the president’s house.  In a way, we are in charge of welcoming new students and bidding farewell to graduating students and representing our school wherever we are and wherever we go.  I have also had the opportunity to be a part of the Honors Program at NKU.  This program has given me many opportunities to grow as a person, but more than anything, the small class sizes allowed me to meet and connect with the people I consider my good friends today.  The Honors Program also gave me the opportunity to become a Peer Mentor for the fall semester of 2013, which means I will be responsible for helping new freshmen to accommodate to college and make a successful transition from high school.  I also work a part-time job at the university being a tutor in chemistry and biology.

Alma Onate

It has been a busy year, filled with new and exciting opportunities, but I can honestly say that none of this would be possible without the aid of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation and all of the people who donate their money, time, and resources to make this scholarship possible.  As I mentioned before in the short essay I wrote about this scholarship, I can say that the greatest gift this scholarship has provided for me is the fact that in addition to helping my financial situation, this scholarship has take a burden off my back.  Without this scholarship, my life would be completely different.  I would have to work a full-time job in order to be able to pay my school, while being a full-time student living at home–which is one hour’s drive from NKU.  However, with this scholarship, I am able to concentrate on my studies, which is the most important part, but I am also able to live on campus, and participate in many activities, such as research which are quickly becoming an essential part of not only my college experience, but of my life in general.  Each of these activities is helping me grow, learn, meet new people, make the right connections, and take me one step closer to my final goal — to be a medical doctor who relieves and comforts the sick, especially the children of our world.

Once again, thank you.  I sincerely thank you, not only what you did for me when you awarded me the scholarship, but what you do every single day of my college experience, and what you do for so many other young men and women in our community.  You are truly helping being change to the world one life at a time, and I am another person’s life whom you have touched with your generosity and benevolence.  I would just like to say that one day I aspire to be like the people who so kindly give to this program and that if you ever need help with any event or program, count on me to volunteer.  Best wishes to everyone that makes this possible.

Sincerely,

Alma Oñate