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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Latino scholarship dinner celebrates 10th birthday

October 16, 2019 | Gunner Young | campus editor
Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian. Mariachi Real de Alvarez kicks off the 10th annual Abrazando al Exito scholarship dinner Oct. 10 on TR Campus. The event included traditional Mexican music and dance performances while bringing an end to Hispanic Heritage Month.
Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian. Mariachi Real de Alvarez kicks off the 10th annual Abrazando al Exito scholarship dinner Oct. 10 on TR Campus. The event included traditional Mexican music and dance performances while bringing an end to Hispanic Heritage Month.

To cap off Hispanic Heritage Month, TR Campus hosted the 10th annual Abrazando al Exito scholarship dinner and celebration on Oct. 10.

“Abrazando al Éxito,” or “Embracing Success,” celebrated student success with Hispanic foods, desserts, door prizes, a mariachi band, dancers and various speakers.

The event’s main draw were the various scholarships awarded to students. Several privately funded project awards and the main scholarship, the Abrazando al Exito Award, were given out.

Event organizer and NW assistant to the president Serafin Garcia kicked off the event after guests had found their seats by linking the founding of TR Campus and the event.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that TR Campus just celebrated its 10-year anniversary,” Garcia said. “And Abrazando [al Exito] is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.”

As a founding member of TR Campus, Garcia recalled a conversation he had with TR Campus’ first president Tahita Fulkerson as he displayed a graph showing the large Hispanic population around the campus.

“This is one of the first things that Fulkerson showed me,” Garcia said. “She told me, ‘Serafin, don’t ever forget this is why we’re here.’”

After a brief welcome speech from Chancellor Eugene Giovannini, the winners of the scholarships were announced, and their video projects were played for everyone in attendance.

Mariachi Real de Alvarez, a mariachi band, opened the event with traditional Hispanic music.

The Magdalena de la Teja Abrazado al Éxito scholarship was won by TR student Selina Valadez, granting her a year of tuition-free classes at TCC.

“Coming from a family of five kids over on the east side of Fort Worth, this scholarship really helped a lot,” Valadez said. “My parents didn’t have to struggle that much to help me succeed.”

After handing out scholarships, the keynote speaker from the first event and chief education officer for the IDQ Group Inc. Mateo Raul Magdaleno took the stage, giving insight on his rise to success and encouraging students to honor their culture.

He spoke about his experiences growing up poor in a small village near Mexico City, and how embracing his roots ended up helping him throughout his life.

“For many years, I was afraid to talk about my roots,” Magdaleno said. “You cannot love the fruits of who you are until you until you learn to love the roots of who you are.”

Magdaleno told everyone in the room to give someone they didn’t know a hug. Embracing success is a two-person operation, and you can’t get there with closed arms, Magdaleno said.

After everyone was back in their seats, Magdaleno returned to the stage.

“You just hugged success,” he said.

He closed his speech by referring back to the theme of the event: past, present and future.

He told the audience that while one’s past and present make you who you are, the future is still there for the taking.

“Some of us aren’t where we want to be, and that’s OK,” Magdaleno said. “But at least we aren’t where we used to be.”

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