Board of Trustees Recognize the 2014-15 Vanguard Community Service Award Honorees

Board of Trustees Recognize the 2014-15 Vanguard Community Service Award Honorees
Posted on 04/06/2015
This is the image for the news article titled Board of Trustees Recognize the 2014-15 Vanguard Community Service Award Honorees

Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees recently recognized the 2014-15 Vanguard Community Service Award honorees.

The Vanguard Community Service Awards are given annually to at least five seniors at each high school in the district. Students are selected by campus administration, based on guidelines that require at least 300 hours of community service completed outside of school activities.

This year, students donated over 7,800 hours of service in support of the community. Service projects included green-thumb initiatives, organizing food and clothing drives, helping at community events, volunteering at nursing homes, spending time teaching young children, and extending a helping hand at local organizations.

The recognition ceremony included a video presentation which featured all of this year’s winners. Each high school counselor introduced their students in front of a crowd of parents, administrative staff and board members. Honorees were presented with medals and a certificate of appreciation, on behalf of the board and School Superintendent Dr. Kirk Lewis. In addition, each honoree received take-home items including programs with student bios, a copy of the Vanguard video and individual posters with photos of the recipients.

The theme of this year’s Vanguard program was Champions in the Community because these students strive for academic excellence and use their knowledge and skills to make positive contributions in the areas where they live.

 “It is inspiring to see our students dedicate countless hours to support our community,” Lewis said. “They are definitely in the Vanguard of community service.”

The 2014-15 Vanguard honorees are:

Dobie High School

Pictured: Betram Nguyen, Andres Rodriguez, Madisen Minter, Juan Reyes, Thao Bui.

Thao Bui
volunteers at the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church every Saturday and plans to study education at San Jacinto College and the University of Houston.

Madisen Minter is a tutor and assistant counselor at the City of Houston’s Parks and Recreation department. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and the public library. She plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University to study audio engineering.

Betram Nguyen volunteers at the Houston Food Bank and tutors students in Pasadena ISD’s ACE after-school program. Betram plans to attend the University of Houston where she will major in biology. 

Juan Reyes inspires countless students at Garfield Elementary. He aspires to be a petroleum engineer after he graduates from Texas A&M University.

Andres Rodriguez has learned to put other before himself. He plans to attend Mississippi College and major in Business Administration.

Pasadena High School

Pictured: Bianca Tolentino, Saraswati Saharan, Perla Belman, Crystal Garcia and Hortencia Rodriguez.

Perla Belman
volunteered at the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo where she helped organize the event. She plans to pursue a career in the medical field. She will begin her journey at Blinn College and she will continue her studies at either Texas State University of the Texas Women’s University. 

Crystal Garcia founded a group for migrant students that helps them overcome challenges associated with moving from school to school. She plans to pursue a biomedical degree from Texas A&M pending a reply from her dream school, MIT.

Hortencia Rodriguez mentors children at her church. She plans to become a teacher one day after receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston.

Saraswati Saharan has donated her time to several organizations including the Goodwill Donation Center, the local animal shelter and Pasadena ISD’s ACE Afterschool program. She plans to attend the University of Houston and major in biology.

Bianca Tolentino coaches cheerleading and martial arts. She plans to pursue a career in business administration and will attend the University of Houston in the fall.

Pasadena Memorial High School

Pictured: Lydia Castillo, Stephanie Green, Charlotte Vasquez; (back) Sabra Burkett, Ansiya Arakkal, and Kelsey Edwards.

Ansiya Arakkal
volunteers with the Pasadena Malayalee Association, Vista Continuing Care Nursing Home and the school’s Environmental Club. She plans to attend the University of Houston to study computer science.

Sabra Burkett is volunteers with the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Pasadena Strawberry Festival and Rebuild Together Houston. She plans on attending the University of North Texas to study theater.

Lydia Castillo is a leader in the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and teaches children how to sail small boats in Galveston Bay. She is also a counselor for children with immobilizing muscular diseases at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She has been accepted to Texas A&M University at Galveston where she plans to major in marine transportation.

Kelsey Edwards has donated her time and effort to help those in need through clothing and food drives. She plans to get a degree in special education from San Jacinto College.

Stephanie Green has volunteered at the Pasadena Strawberry Festival and the Houston Zoo Crew. She plans to study biochemistry at a prestigious medical school.

Charlotte Vasquez has assisted a leukemia program in which individuals donate their hair to benefit patients.

Sam Rayburn High School

Pictured: Lilliana Trevino, Angelica Cervantes, Devin Graham and Monica Chapa. Not pictured: Stephanie Lopez.

Angelica Cervantes
has dedicated years of service to NCI Neighborhood Centers where she assists with food drives. After graduation, she plans to work at a Houston-based chemical plant and study engineering and welding possibly at the University of Houston.

Monica Chapa has been actively involved in Autism Speaks for about ten years. Monica aspires to be a nurse one day and plans to attend the University of Texas in Arlington.

Devin Graham has volunteered with the Texas Amateur Athletics Federation and the Methodist Health Care Center. He also helped make repairs to South Main Baptist Church. He plans to study music and history at Texas State University.

Stephanie Lopez is dedicated to ending hunger in the community. She spends her time volunteering at the local food bank. She also helps patients and employees at the NCI Neighborhood Center.

Lilliana Trevino reads to children in foster homes and shelters. She plans to attend either Texas Christian, Sam Houston State or Stephen F. Austin University in the fall where she will major in the Performing Arts.

South Houston High School

Pictured: Arlen Suarez, Karen Perez, Josselyn Garza, Maybelt Lopez and Genesis Rodriguez.

Maybelt Chevez
teaches Catechism to children. She plans to study Biology at Texas A&M University to become a physician and continue her charitable efforts.

Josselyn Garza has volunteered at Garfield Elementary School helping out wherever she is needed. She plans on attending San Jacinto College, then the University of Houston to pursue a pharmaceutical career.

Karen Perez volunteers with the school’s Ecology Club, at nursing homes, the Cleveland-Ripley Community Center and the local orphanage. She plans to major in astrophysics at the University of Texas.

Genesis Rodriguez volunteers at the Houston Humane Society walking dogs. She plans to attend the University of Houston to study nutrition.

Arlen Suarez spends her summers at a clinic making a difference in the lives of patients. She plans to study biochemistry as a pre-med student and eventually attend medical school to become a doctor.