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Lone Star College Foundation recognizes scholarship winners

Six Lone Star College students shared stories of hardship, dedication and success during the Lone Star College Foundation’s 22nd annual Chancellor’s Breakfast.

The event is held to recognize six students, one from each of the Lone Star Colleges, for their winning essay. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship which is made possible due to the generosity of LSC Foundation donors and supporters. The LSC Foundation manages assets of $23 million, with more than $17 million committed to endowed scholarships.

“It is such an honor to host this event,” said Stephen Head, LSC chancellor. “To hear the obstacles these students faced, and yet were able to succeed, are truly inspirational. It is students like these that give me great hope for the future.”

The six student essay winners were: Candice Hart, LSC-CyFair; Gabby Alcantara, LSC-Kingwood; Douglas Dennison, LSC-Montgomery; David Rico, LSC-North Harris; Quashawn Sterling, LSC-Tomball; and Hessami Hernandez, LSC-University Park.

Each year, LSC students are invited to participate in the essay contest to write about “How my Lone Star College experience has influenced my life.” Winners are selected by campus committees prior to the breakfast event, which was held this year on Jan. 27 at the Lone Star Community Building in The Woodlands.

“We are so grateful for the support from the many individuals, families, estates, businesses, corporations and foundations who have established endowments which help Lone Star College students achieve their dreams,” said Leah Goss, LSC chief advancement officer and LSC Foundation executive director. “This truly is an investment in our community’s future.”

Excerpts from this year’s student essay winners:

Candice Hart, LSC-CyFair
“Lone Star College is a community college and they care about the community. I was able to witness this firsthand and am proud to be a part of the family. Where there is a will, a way can always be made. I can only pay it forward and am willing to do my part to help other students just like me who may not be making their needs known to others.”

Gabby Alcantara, LSC-Kingwood
“From the very first time that I met with advisors, the confidence in their voice made me feel like it was still possible for me to get a degree. Sure enough, two and a half years later, here I am about to graduate with my associate degree and looking to transfer to Sam Houston University. Never in a million years did I think I would be here at 28 years old; yet I am so thankful. Lone Star College gave me the hope I needed at the time I needed it.”

Douglas Dennison, LSC-Montgomery
“I wanted an unlimited and unbiased world view. An education. The courage to accept consequences and be accountable for my actions. And all the tools to be successful both personally and academically. As of right now, I don’t know who I want to be exactly, but I know that I’m in the right place to find out.”

David Rico, LSC-North Harris
“Until Lone Star College, no one had ever really given me an opportunity to better myself. I spent six years at a job that barely made ends meet and I had no idea how to become a better person. They not only let me be myself, they encourage me to be myself. Lone Star College has changed my life by giving me a chance and for this I am truly grateful.”

Quashawn Sterling, LSC-Tomball
“My encounters at Lone Star College influenced me by not only seeing the wonderful helping hands there, but by also offering so many handicapped/wheelchair accessible areas catering to the disabled. This really touched me because I have a disabled aunt that I’ve helped take care of for 12 years now.”

Hessami Hernandez, LSC-University Park
“I walked into my HUMD class and sat in the corner at the back. It was my first class of the day and as the room filled up with students, I exhaled when I realized I wasn't the only older person in there. I felt like I was in the right place. That I had made the best decision for myself and my family.”

Pictured are winners of the Lone Star College Foundation student essay contest with Dr. Stephen Head, LSC chancellor. Pictured left to right are: Gabby Alcantara, LSC-Kingwood; Quashawn Sterling, LSC-Tomball; Hessami Hernandez, LSC-University Park; Dr. Head; Douglas Dennison, LSC-Montgomery; Candice Hart, LSC-CyFair; and David Rico, LSC-North Harris.

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.

Lone Star College has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSC remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with almost 83,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 95,000, Lone Star College is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the nation. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online.