The scholarship Ellen Vallejo received her final semester at the University of Houston-Victoria not only helped financially, but also showed her that hard work pays off.
Vallejo was one of two students awarded a $500 scholarship in 2012 from the UHV Career Services for having a strong work ethic at her job while getting a higher education.
One of the many things Career Services does is help connect area employers with university students looking for work. For the third year, the department is awarding two $500 scholarships to UHV students as a way to recognize their hard work and stress how work experience contributes to the overall education process.
Career Services is seeking nominations from UHV departments and area employers who work with deserving UHV students. One scholarship will go to a student who works on campus and another will go to a student working off campus.
Vallejo graduated from UHV in December with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While attending UHV, she worked full time as a site coordinator for Communities in Schools of the Golden Crescent at Victoria East High School.
“The Career Services scholarship was a huge honor and a relief for me,” she said. “It helped out a lot to have the scholarship for my last semester.”
Vallejo continues to work with at-risk students through Communities in Schools. Many of her students think they can’t afford college. She uses her story to motive her students and show them it is possible to work and get a degree at the same time.
“I talk to my students about how I came from a similar background and didn’t think I could afford to get my degree,” she said. “But I applied for financial aid and kept my grades up so I could get scholarships like the one Career Services gave me. I’m a living example for my students on how a college degree is possible.”
Many UHV students work while attending school, said Eunice Mesa, UHV Career Services manager.
“There are a lot of UHV students who succeed academically and professionally, so we want to recognize them for their hard work,” Mesa said. “It is also a way for us to show others that UHV students are making a difference in their communities.”
Mesa said that work experience is a major component of a higher education because employers are looking for knowledgeable employees.
“It is important to have some experience when you graduate,” she said. “Not only does it make it easier to find a job, it also presents networking opportunities with professionals who can help you go further in your career.”
Employers are asked to nominate their UHV student workers by submitting a letter. A selection committee will review the nominations and pick the recipients.
To nominate a UHV student, employers must submit a detailed letter of recommendation that touches on at least two of the following characteristics:
- Self-motivated – Someone who knows how to take responsibility and is ready to go beyond job responsibilities to meet goals.
- Adaptable – An employee who can adjust to new environments, is willing to learn new things and can perform well in all situations.
- Ethical – Someone who is able to follow work policies and inspires others to do the same.
- Positive attitude – A proactive, upbeat employee who takes initiative.
- Disciplined – A punctual, disciplined and conscientious employee who doesn’t procrastinate.
- Honesty – An employee who is honest about work and qualifications, can self-critique and is able to receive feedback.
- Team player – Someone who contributes to the team effort of a company.
Any UHV student who attended the university during the 2012-2013 academic year and worked either part time, full time or as an intern is eligible for the scholarship. The deadline to nominate a student is 5 p.m. June 14.
Nominations should be mailed to University of Houston-Victoria Career Services/Student Worker Employee Scholarship Committee, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., Victoria, TX 77901.
Questions about nominations or the scholarship can be directed to Mesa at 361-570-4369 or CareerServices@uhv.edu.