Sunday, March 2, 2008

Be the Architect of Your Life Scholarship - Presented by The Positive Gals Leadership Group

(An intimate view of two columns of El Paso High School designed by architect Trost and Trost)

Several months ago I was nominated to attend a leadership conference sponsored by the El Paso YWCA group. The theme of the conference: Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women. The conference brought together an extra ordinary group of women throughout the El Paso region to learn leadership skills and amplify those we brought to the program. Participation in the leadership program was not a passive occasion. As a group (Positive Gals), we were required to come up with a community based project and execute it within six months. We started meeting once every Thursday to brainstorm ideas. Our original plan of presenting several half-day presentations to young high school girls on topics such as college admission, self-esteem, successful dress habits, and career options faded in the face of standardized testing priorities. Back to the drawing board!

Next, the group forwarded the idea of raising scholarship money to award to a deserving graduating senior. We agreed. After our last meeting on February 28th, we discussed and edited the flier for the scholarship. The scholarship will total $1,000, and the application criteria is broad enough to get the attention of any high school senior.


  • be a citizen or permanent resident of the US
  • graduate by June 2008 from an El Paso County high school
  • be accepted into a community college or university anywhere in the US
  • plan on attending full-time or substantial part-time (min. of 9 hours)
  • carry a min. grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4 point scale
Student applicants are required to write an 800-1000 word essay based on the theme: Be the Architect of Your Life.

Each of the ladies in the project (about 10 remaining) have been charged to raise $100 each for the scholarship. Since Thursday's meeting, I have been thinking of how to raise the money. A bake sale? Hmm, no. Can't compete with the Girl Scout cookies this time of year. A car wash? I teach on Saturday afternoons, so that's out of the question. Well, as a doctoral student in rhetoric and writing studies, I know that discourse can alter and shape realities. So I'm gonna put discourse to work!

This blog entry represents my part of the $100. Each graduating senior who participates in the scholarship contest by writing an essay will contribute not only to the discourse of their life by writing into reality their imagined futures, but to the greater discourse of the YWCA program of Empowering Women, Eliminating Racism. I'm asking you, the reader, to donate five bucks. Five dollars. Cinco dólares. That´s it.

Please send me an email to with your home or work address. In a couple days, you´ll receive a self-addressed stamped envelope from me, Cristina Ramirez. Take what ever amount of money you feel you can donate, and seal it in the envelope I send, and mail it to me. After I´ve received the money, I will send off an email letting you know that I received the donation. Please keep posted to my blog because I will be updating the progress of the project.

As well, with my teaching skills in writing, I hope to be given access to a senior class or two in the El Paso region to present the scholarship and help students get started with an outline and introductory paragraph to their essay.

Let's see what this blog's discourse can generate! Hope to hear from you!

Cristina Ramirez - a fellow blogger