Friday, June 24, 2011

winner for this year at community college contest

In addition to sponsoring the winner of the $500 scholarship at the local high school, I also make a $100 award at the local college, where in the late 1990s Jim attended, worked, joined the honor society, earned his web-authoring certificate and won four awards in the annual writing contest. The award is to recognize the person considered as the single best author in that contest. Here is that winner's mini-auto-biography.

Born in Los Angeles, California, the first of eight children, Theresa Lopez grew up in a strong, traditional Catholic family. At age nineteen, she gave birth to her first daughter and then married her high school sweetheart two years later. After thirteen years of marriage, five children, and rigid religious expectations, Theresa Lopez decided to become more than an ordinary housewife and mother. She enrolled in classes at Victor Valley Community College not only to begin an educational career, but to begin a journey of self-discovery in psychology, philosophy, feminist study, art and freedom through writing. She will graduate from Victor Valley Community College with high honors this June (2011) and will transfer to The University of La Verne to continue her education in Psychology, Philosophy and Art.

Monday, June 13, 2011

essay from this year's scholarship winner

Miss Amanda Aguilar, with an unweighted grade point average of 3.8 and ranked 10th in her graduating class at Victor Valley High School in Victorville, Calif., was this year’s recipient of the annual Jim Long Communications Scholarship. It was handed out May 26, 2011, at the main auditorium of High Desert (Baptist) Church as part of the overall scholarship awards/baccalaureate ceremony for the seniors. Amanda also received the California Scholarship Federation Award, the Scholar Athlete of the Year Award, the Hope International University Presidential Scholarship, the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma and the United States Marine Corps Outstanding Athlete Award.

Below is the essay Amanda wrote and submitted, which persuaded the nominating committee to name her the winner. Please note that her career emphasis is on graphic arts, one of the many areas in which Jim excelled. I know Jim is proud to know that your donations in his name now will help a particularly worthy young lady to further succeed.

Communication skills are exceedingly important to help one survive in the workplace. Good communication skills can help one speak, write, read and listen better and effectively. In general, these abilities are needed in order to efficiently do and finish a job. Skills like this have helped me in many ways, including leading my volleyball team as the captain for the last three years.

I have been able to meet a number of new people and engage myself in activities that I might not have been able to, had I not had the proper verbal skills. Communication skills are amongst the most important skills someone needs in order to further a career because of the need to communicate with the people around you. The better my communication skills are, the less I will have to worry about too many errors or misunderstandings.

I have recently been accepted to Hope International University and I will be attending there in the fall. While attending HIU, I plan to major in business management and although money isn’t something that I have grown up around, I have always had to work for everything that I have. Things are not going to change now that I am going to be on my own. It is up to me to further educate myself in order to have a bright future with enough to provide for myself. My communication skills have allowed me to get to where I am today and the only way I will be able to fully succeed in college is if I continue to work on them.

The right communication skills can help me to perform my job well enough, take initiative when needed and lead a team of colleagues. I am the type of person who does not leave a project unfinished. I know how to take charge and accomplish something with a deadline, and qualities like this are needed in what I plan to major in. I would like to own my own small business one day that involves graphic design.

Graphic design is something that I enjoy and I would like to open my own business involving that field. Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. I have taken a graphic arts class at Victor Valley High School for two years now and thanks to the help of my teacher, Mr. Garcia, I have become very interested in the art. He has taught me everything that I know about graphic design and I believe that the skills that I have learned from him can help me to better educate myself in this field later in life. As a teacher, his communications skills are very important because he needs to be able to explain himself well enough to teach his students the material. He has showed me that it is necessary to have proper verbal skills in order to succeed.

I was inspired at a young age by a great teacher and I am hoping to give back to others one day as well. I intend to take speech classes in college to improve my communication skills to develop the appropriate techniques for job seeking. I am hoping to succeed in all the things that I apply myself to later in my life.

Donations of any amount are tax-deductible, accepted all year round and are most appreciated; anyone wishing to contribute can contact me here at their convenience on this “blog,” by email or by phone … Judy

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It would have been our 19th wedding anniversary

Today is the day, 19 years ago, that we stood under a gazebo by a duck pond and pledged to be together until death did us part. We had been together for more than three years before that.

In my better times -- including, interestingly, today -- I feel such deep gratitude that I got to spend 20 years with the greatest guy on Earth.

A couple of notes on scholarships.

The Jim Long Communications Scholarship went Thursday evening to a lovely young lady named Amanda Aguilar who is a standout in almost any way (and who won many other accolades). As soon as I can figure out how to post her lovely email/essay here, I will.

The other scholarship, the Jim Long Award, will be given out at 3 p.m. this Saturday at the library at Victor Valley College in Victorville, as part of the overall annual writing contest; if by chance anyone wants to attend the free ceremony and eat lovely snacks, just let me know.