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Lone Star College Foundation hosts Chancellor's Breakfast with student essay winners

The Lone Star College Foundation’s 21st Chancellor’s Breakfast was held at the Lone Star Community Building in The Woodlands where attendees heard first-hand accounts of student success from student essay winners.

Six recognized students, one from each of the six Lone Star Colleges, received a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by the generosity of LSC Foundation donors and supporters. In all, the Foundation manages assets of $21 million, with more than $16 million committed to endowed scholarships. 

“This is a very special event for me,” said Dr. Richard Carpenter, LSC chancellor. “The personal stories of hardships and triumph demonstrate the importance of the support given by our donors to these and many other deserving Lone Star College students.”

The six student essay winners were: Tung Nguyen, LSC-CyFair; James Oakes, LSC-Kingwood; Sarah Gauteson, LSC-Montgomery; Julian Ciarella, LSC-North Harris; Miguel Garcia, LSC-Tomball; and Kara Vigants, LSC-University Park.

"It is wonderful that our donors and supporters get to hear, directly from students, how Lone Star College has made such a dramatic difference in their lives,” said Darcy Mingoia, executive director of the LSC-Foundation. “It is very moving to hear stories of how these students overcame obstacles and found a way to succeed.”

Athena Moseley, a student essay winner from 2003, also spoke to the audience of more than 200 guests and supporters about her experiences, recalling her academic journey and the powerful influence LSCS had on her life then, and now.

Established as a 501(c)(3) Type I nonprofit corporation, the LSC Foundation’s mission is to raise money to support students and academic programs of the LSCS. Through StarGala, the annual golf tournament, and the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses and other organizations, the Foundation is able to annually grant numerous scholarships to students attending LSCS colleges and centers. For more information, visit the Foundation online at LoneStarCollegeFoundation.org.

Excerpts from this year’s student essay winners:

Tung Nguyen, LSC-CyFair
“With what I have learned here at Lone Star College-CyFair, I am confident that I can overcome any obstacle. This school has not only shown me the door to my future, it has also provided me with the key to open that door. I am proud to be a part of this community, and I know I can bring pride to Lone Star College.”     

James Oakes, LSC-Kingwood
“The first days of Lone Star College-Kingwood were very eye opening. The professors were very educated, loved interacting with the students and the small classroom sizes allowed for more one on one time with the professor if a student was struggling.” 

Sarah Gauteson, LSC-Montgomery
“Through the Honors College at Lone Star College, I have learned to go beyond traditional coursework and study for the sake of learning, rather than simply cramming for tests. Lone Star College challenged me to think creatively and critically.”

Julian Ciarella, LSC-North Harris
“Lone Star College is not just a community college; it is a place for new beginnings. Lone star College has changed my life, significantly, for the better. I am now a critical thinker and true believer of my own exceptionalism. None of this would have been possible with Lone Star College-North Harris leading me to success.”

Miguel Garcia, LSC-Tomball
“Being a student at Lone Star College-Tomball has helped me find the academic purpose of my life. My educational experience has allowed me to recognize that I can focus on the present while knowing that I am capable of changing my past.” 

Kara Vigants, LSC-University Park
“At Lone Star College I have been able to rekindle my love of learning and found that even with age, my brain works just fine. I have never felt out of place, unwelcomed or patronized here; I simply belong. Lone Star College has helped me to regain my confidence and to become who I want to be, and for that I am forever grateful.”

Pictured are winners of the Lone Star College Foundation student essay contest along with their respective college presidents and LSC chancellor. Pictured, left to right, back row are: Dr. Austin Lane, president, LSC-Montgomery, Dr. Audre Levy, president, LSC-CyFair, Dr. Susan Karr, president, LSC-Tomball, Dr. Katherine Persson, president, LSC-Kingwood, Dr. Steve Head, president, LSC-North Harris, Shah Ardalan, president, LSC-University Park. Front row, left to right: Sarah Gauteson, LSC-Montgomery, Tung Nguyen, LSC-CyFair, Miguel Garcia, LSC-Tomball, Dr. Richard Carpenter, chancellor, LSC, James Oakes, LSC-Kingwood, Julian Ciarella, LSC-North Harris, Kara Vigants, LSC-University Park. 

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.