This year, we received many applications from both Tarrant and Dallas Counties. In fact, we had international applications as well. With multiple rounds of reviews, the winner of this year’s Excellence In Character Scholarship award is Marlene Tello, a vibrant young woman who understands why serving others is critical in being grounded in a world of entitlement. She is a graduate of Sunset High School in Dallas ISD and now a student at University of North Texas, Dallas. She is a sweet young lady, who aspires to be an early childhood bilingual teacher. She exudes patience and love learned through personal experiences that have shaped who she is today. A product of the P-TECH program of Dallas ISD and Mountain View College, Marlene is the first person in her family to attend college. She maximized the opportunity to acquire college credits while carrying a full load towards high school graduation and various volunteer commitments. Through it all, she persevered and grew exponentially in her character.
Like everyone, Marlene has a unique story that she has allowed to develop and build her character. She understands that change requires internal resolve that springs into actionable outcomes. We are so proud of Marlene, all her accomplishments and all she has overcame in her life journey. Quoting Marlene in her scholarship application essay, "Giving back to the community is important for me, because I was able to learn various life lessons. I was never thankful for the things I had at home, and I never knew how to appreciate them until I started volunteering around my community. Volunteering opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone lives under the same condition as I did, and the world is not as it seems. Giving back fostered in me a sense of appreciation and culture of generosity.”
Great things are in store for Marlene! Her village of support is strong. With the character traits she has already acquired, we know she is poised for life-long success. Congratulations!!
“And endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
– Romans 5:4 RSV
In Christ's Love,
Drs. Johnson & Feyi Obamehinti