“Where Are They Now Wednesday!”

A Look Back at Last Year’s Straight “A” Scholarship Winners!

It’s that day of the week again! This “Where Are They Now Wednesday” will take a look at 2013’s Straight “A” Scholarship winners Shannon Chambers and Rachel Hall. With only two and a half weeks left to nominate students for the Straight “A” Scholarship, some may be thinking “Is this really worth it?” Well, today I am writing to tell you “YES IT IS!”

The 2013 Straight "A" Scholarship winners: Shannon Chambers, from Aiken High School (left), and Rachel Hall, from Saint Ursula Academy (right).

The 2013 Straight “A” Scholarship winners: Shannon Chambers, from Aiken High School (left), and Rachel Hall, from Saint Ursula Academy (right).


For the past eleven years, the Anthony Muñoz Foundation has recognized deserving students for their academic excellence, athletic achievement, winning attitude, active role in the community, and overcoming adversity. This scholarship not only helps these students financially, but helps them to achieve their dreams and continue their education.


Shannon Chambers was last year’s male Straight “A” recipient. Hailing from Aiken High School, he is now a freshman Industrial Operations major at the University of Cincinnati. Shannon is not only involved academically, but also a member of many organizations on campus. Some of these clubs include NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, UBSA, United Black Student Association, Transitions, and The Sales Leadership Club. His involvements in these clubs have given Shannon invaluable insight into professional relationships, networking, and effective communication. Shannon has also maintained his friendship with Brandon Prayer, last year’s Scholarship Fund winner, who you will hear more about next “Where Are They Now Wednesday!”

Shannon wanted to give high school students some very wise advice. From the man himself he says, “When I graduated from high school, I did so with a 4.0 GPA. After my first semester here, that dramatically dropped to a 2.5. I want those who will pursue post-secondary to know that it is not the 13th grade, and it requires rigorous effort, time management, and above all, discipline.”

Rachel Hall was last year’s female Straight “A” recipient. Hailing from Saint Ursula High School, she is now a freshman at the Ohio State University, where she is a Hospitality Management major. Rachel has gotten involved with an indoor soccer league and is planning to apply for the Ohio Union Activity Board. “Becoming the Anthony Muñoz Straight A Student of the year has been a tremendous blessing for me and my family,” Rachel says. “I’m so grateful for the opportunities it has given me.”

So there you have if folks, from the winners themselves! Both of these Straight “A” Students are at the Universities of their dreams involving and challenging themselves as they continue forward with their education. Both Shannon and Rachel expressed their gratitude for not only the scholarship itself, but where that scholarship was able to take them. So wherever you are or wherever you want to be, think about how the Foundation’s Straight “A” Scholarship can help get you there!

Nominations for the Straight “A” Scholarship will continue until Friday, February 21st. So if you know any deserving students, make sure to nominate them today!

Click here to nominate a student!


Victoria Sabato

Programs Intern


Service Challenge Project: Talawanda “Plugs Into Kindness”

Talawanda “Plugs into Kindness”

          The heavy snow posed no threat to the energy that awoke the halls of Talawanda Middle School (Oxford) last Friday morning as they kicked off their YLS Service Challenge Project. Although the temperature was low, the spirits couldn’t have been higher as the 6, 7 & 8th graders “plugged into kindness” with their ‘Unplug Bullying’ rally. The idea, spurring from The Anthony Muñoz Youth Leadership Seminar in October, was headed by Talawanda High School’s group of YLS attendees who recognized the need to address bullying in their younger, more impressionable generations – their district middle school. Sharon Gregory, Family and Consumer Science Teacher and AMF group leader at Talawanda High School was so overwhelmed with the positive feedback that the group is planning a community presentation next month and will continue to visit the middle school during lunches to mentor students.

YLS High Schoolers Kicking Off The Assembly!

YLS High Schoolers Kicking Off The Assembly!

“We have had great comments from our staff and administration! I am so proud of the students and how they came up with the idea and ran with it. We worked together as a group to come up with small group ideas and the students handled themselves very professionally. They were surprised with how many students opened up to them and shared things during the small groups.”

       April Kerley, U.S. Paralympics Swimmer and nine-time American record setter delivered a moving message of her story and the adversity she has overcome in life, striving to hold herself to a standard of compassion and kindness toward others. She explained that in life, there is no such thing as “normal” and that if we were all in fact “normal” – we would all be average, possessing the same strengths, but also the same weaknesses. April, a keynote speaker at the 2013 AMF Youth Leadership Seminar, sparked an energy at Talawanda with her inspirational story.       

April and Talawanda High School Team

April and Talawanda High School Team

       “As an athlete, I train daily with teenagers and have long believed they are emerging as inspiring, youth leaders. So when the opportunity came along to speak at the Anthony Munoz Foundation’s Youth Leadership Seminar, I was eager to support the cause and contribute to your service projects. What I did not anticipate was the learning I would gain along the journey. As I have traveled to schools to support your projects, it has elevated my enthusiasm! Along the way, I discovered new insight into what is important to you, and, most importantly, why a project matters to you. Through the AMF Challenge, you shared of yourself, your life experiences, your aspirations and that directed your community service to align with you, your peers, and your community.”

        The YLS high school ambassadors finished up with a series of creative skits aimed to express the extreme emotional and social effects of bullying, whether in or outside of school walls. With a progressive age of technology focused on social media and online interaction, there is a rising platform for bullying, including threats, hurtful words and exclusion in the digital space – specifically with apps such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The crisis of cyber bullying through technology and online mediums continues to heighten and the YLS team didn’t hold back in challenging this nation-wide issue head on.

         Following the all-school rally, Ms. Gregory’s students chose to hone in on 7th graders specifically for the small group break-out sessions – a group seeming to be more affected by this issue. The high schoolers facilitated evoking dialogue on the various forms of bullying and how it can be disguised, why it happens, and where students should turn if they experience bullying amongst themselves or peers. Through their thoughts and participation, it was evident that the students’ eyes were being opened to the magnitude of bullying – an issue that hit home for them, and thousands of youth throughout the community. The 7th graders were encouraged to share personal opinions, stories and suggestions on how the issue can be eliminated moving forward.

Small Group Breakout Sessions

Small Group Breakout Sessions


Where Are They Now Wednesday! – Overcoming Adversity

“Life may present you with challenges, but every individual possesses the courage to overcome adversity” ~ Erik Zamudio (2010 Scholarship Fund Recipient)

Each finalist for the Scholarship Fund and Straight “A” Scholarship is unique in their own way, but they all have one thing in common: their ability to overcome adversity. From Jarrin Taul, whose speech impediment didn’t hold him back from getting on stage and flawlessly giving his acceptance speech, to Elizabeth Potter, who works part time to pay her college expenses while maintaining honor roll status, these students never let their adversities define them.

Erik Zamudio, our 2010 Scholarship Fund winner, never let the adversity of Erik Zamudiogrowing up quickly after his Dad was deployed to Afghanistan hold him back. Erik became the man of the house and sacrificed sports and hanging out with friends in order to help out at home and care for his sister. Erik has said that one of the most valuable lessons he has learned is to look at adversity as an opportunity. Erik made something good out of a difficult situation. He learned to change his goals and become a more mature person. He is now a junior at the University of Cincinnati studying Marketing. Over the past year, Erik has developed marketing campaigns for the first UC-sponsored applications for smartphone devices and the Freestore Foodbank and their new catering line. He is currently working in a product design studio for the Boeing Company!

Erik, like many other Scholarship finalists (see Brittney Miller blog post), is also following our mission of impacting others. Erik has said:

“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 Erik Zamudio 2indigent workers at the River Downs Race Track clinic with fresh produce and healthy food alternatives. 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 workdays.  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.”

What started off as a small idea to help others turned into a huge success. By the end of the summer, Erik and his friend were providing fresh produce to nearly 200 workers and their families!

Be sure to apply today for the Scholarship Fund and share how you have overcome adversity!

Mike Rizio
Programs Intern


Where Are They Now Wednesday!

Tips on Time Management for College Students!

Do you manage your time well?

Elizabeth Potter, our 2010 Scholarship Fund finalist, has a very crazy schedule. Elizabeth is a junior science/pre-med student at Xavier University (Go Muskies!) and a very responsible young adult. With a 3.8 GPA, Elizabeth also works part time at the Xavier IMG_4034library and is responsible for paying her own bills, which includes things for her car, clothing, going out, and her entire tuition.

Elizabeth has said that:

“As a science/pre-med student, I have a very rigorous schedule, and I always have a large amount of homework and studying. Without the AMF scholarship, I would probably have to work full time, which would severely cut into my studying time and it would be very hard to keep up my academics. Sometimes when I am feeling overstressed, I think about the AMF and I am again inspired to do my best.”

When I first started at Xavier, I underestimated how much work I would have. Hanging out with friends and joining some clubs on campus was really important to me, but I wasn’t sure how to balance that and studying. Here are some great tips I found from Kelci Lynn Lucier on how to manage your time well and keep everything in order:

  1. Get — and use — a calendar. It can be a paper calendar. It can be your cell phone.
  2. Allow for flexibility.  You may have forgotten that there is a Xavier basketball game and you want to see Dee Davis and Semaj Christon rule the court. Leave room in your calendar so that you can move things around a little when needed.
  3. Plan ahead. Don’t let a school project due date sneak up on you. If you think you’ll time_management_101 need six weeks for the entire project, work backward from the due date and schedule the time into your calendar before it’s too late.

With such a busy schedule, Elizabeth does a really good job managing her time. Some of her tips for fellow college students are:

  1. Sacrifice: Know that sometimes you have to give up a TV show to get some work done.
  2. Know your limits: Adapt to having to focus and do good work while you are tired. But know that this does have a limit and you do have to sleep at some point.
  3. Allow yourself “You” time: This can be a great refresher, help you organize your thoughts, and recharge for the workload.

With the Foundation’s help, you have an opportunity to enter college less stressed and with a better understanding of how to manage your time. Make sure to apply today for the Scholarship Fund!

Mike Rizio
Programs Intern

For a full list of tips click here!


YLS School Gives Back to a Former Principal

Hamilton High School hosts dodge ball tournament to raise funds for Mary Beth Robinson

Hamilton High School continues their streak of awesome service projects in 2013!  (Don’t remember their winning service project from last year? Check it out here).  At October’s YLS, Hamilton had originally planned a different project.  They wanted to create a room full of donations where students could pick up items they needed or just hang out in a comfortable, safe environment.  However, they came up with a new idea to help someone near to their heart.

On January 17th, the Hamilton representatives at YLS hosted a dodge ball tournament.  This tournament helped raise funds for Mary Beth Robinson who was a principal at Hamilton for 24 years.  She had a stroke last February and her family’s insurance won’t pay for therapy.  The students decided that Mrs. Robinson and her husband, the basketball coach, are such an important part of the high school that they wanted to give back to the family.

Students from Hamilton High School, Freshman School and Middle Schools all participated in the tournament.  Students charged $2 to play dodgeball and charged each person $1 to watch the games. Hamilton was also able to get other students involved in the event.  HHS and MBRThe Hamilton ROTC members helped protect the fans from flying dodge balls.

The group also accepted donations at the Hamilton vs. Badin basketball game were able to raise $3,500 for Mrs. Robinson in one day!  Now, Badin and Hamilton are currently in the works of planning an adult concert to raise the rest of the money for Mrs. Robinson.

Good luck Hamilton!  You can do whatever you put your minds to!

Check back next week to read all about Anderson’s event that was on Wednesday.


Experience Intern


Where Are They Now Wednesdays! – College Costs Edition


  • The average tuition and fees per year for private four-year college is up 4.5%
  • The average tuition and fees per year for public four year college is up 8.3%.

As a college student myself I can assure you it does not just end at tuition. Cost of food and living puts a damper on things as well!

  • The average annual cost of books for a college student ranges from $850 to $1,000 a year.

One of the biggest anxieties of going to college is worrying about how to pay. Jonathan Schoonover, 2012 Scholarship Fund finalist, said that because of the scholarship he is able to focus more on his school work and less on financial issues that most college students are concerned about, just like our other Scholarship Fund winner Tyra Chapple.

In the past three years the Anthony Muñoz Foundation has awarded deserving students like Jonathan $320,000 through the Scholarship Fund and $126,000 through the Straight “A” Scholarship.

Johnathan Schoonover

After being awarded the Scholarship, Jonathan said that the Foundation has drastically affected his life in a way he couldn’t even begin to explain. The scholarship he was award from the Foundation was the most exciting and most rewarding thing upon graduating high school.

Jonathan didn’t apply for many scholarships in high school until being pushed by one of teachers to fill out the application. Today he is a freshman at Northern Kentucky University with a 3.4 GPA. Don’t think twice, apply today or nominate a student and allow us to make college life a little less stressful!

Mike Rizio
Programs Intern

Statistics can be found by clicking here and here.


AMF YLS School Making a Difference in Cincinnati

Anderson High School Helping Others with Donkeys and Basketball

Donkeys, Basketball, Helping others in need.  What do these three things have in common?  They are all part of Anderson High School’s Service Challenge Project, of course.

Anderson High School will be hosting a donkey basketball tournament to help raise funds for the Malling Family.  The family has two boys with Pelizaeus-Merzbeacher Disease who photoattend Anderson High School.  Their father was also just recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which has been difficult news for the family.  Anderson loves the Malling family and wants to be able to give back to them in their time of need.  All the funds from the ticket sales will go directly to the family.


The games will take place next Wednesday, February 13th with the first game starting at 7:00 pm in their high school gym.  Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door.

Anderson flyer

You can support Anderson High School and the Malling Family by emailing Pat Thatcher for advance tickets at

We cannot for this event Anderson!  See you next Wednesday!



Experience Intern