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


  1. What a wonderful way to honor a great man...a true encourager. This is tremendous, Judy. You have truly been blessed with 20 years with this good guy! Praying God's peace & blessing for you this year. Hugs!

  2. Thank you both. It means a lot to me to hear from you.

    Both Amanda Aguilar of the high school and Theresa Lopez at the college are women whom Jim would -- IS -- proud to assist.