Updated: Jul 30, 2021
On July 17, 2021, thirteen students received $5,000 worth of scholarships and new athletic sneakers for college.
These $5,000 were fundraised by our Ridin' with Pasos Cycling events, one hosted in November and another one in March.
Juan Olivo, Pasos Board Member, kicked off the event by explaining why Pasos choose to host it's banquet outside and in Alejandra Zendejas' house, our co-founder. "We thought about hosting the banquet in a fancy building with fancy food, but that's not us. Pasos for Oak Cliff is a grassroots organization. Pasos operates from our founder's houses and the shoes are stored in Alejandra's house. So despite our grand success this past year, we decided to host it outside as a home party style event with breakfast tacos and barbacoa. This is a humble reminder of where we come from and to never forget were we come from. Success must not blind us from our roots."
Juan followed his reflective speech by introducing our guest speaker, Jordan Rogers, Nike Brand Marketing Director.
Jordan spoke to our students about his addiction to drugs as a teenager, how he got clean, and how he decided to return to college. "Thankfully, I had a good support system and my parents sent me to rehab because if I did not clean up, I was looking at years in prison. I knew I had to change my life. I must admit, I had privileged that some student do not have."
"When I applied to colleges, my criminal background was an obstacle. But in my essay I was determined to make a statement. I wanted the reader to continue reading. So in my first sentence I said something about my least favorite thing being drugs."
Jordan would go on to explain that he eventually got into Collin College and later transferred to Souther Methodist University (SMU) to major in History. His aspiration was to become a teacher, but when his criminal background prevented him from getting hired, he turned to Nike.
Jordan wrapped up his speech with some lessons: 1) Apply for FAFSA, 2) Take Professors and not classes, and 3) Show Up.
Following Jordan, our Director of Education, Joe Posada, announced the scholarship recipients.
Diara Chagolla, Tania Guillen, Julianna Cruz, Desiree DeGanarro, Jezreel Almendariz, Lesly Vazquez, Gisselle Villegas, and Fatima Enriquez all received $200.
Andrea Reyna (left), Oscar Lopez (right), and Haneen Armarhan (not pictured) received $400.
Jennifer Estrada received $600 and Jocelyn Jasso received $800.
And Noah Macias received our top prize of $1,000!
After the scholarships were distributed, students were called up to receive their new shoes for college!
With scholarship and shoe distributions out of the way, our Founder and Executive Director thanked the parents, the students, the Pasos team, and Jordan Rogers. Jesse and Alejandra, our Co-Founder and COO of Strategy presented Jordan with a small gift. At the same time, Jordan donated to Pasos a pair of Air Jordan 1 "Origin Story" to Pasos ($800 value).
Before departing, Joe informed our students that these scholarships were an investment from Pasos to them and we want them to succeed. Therefore, they would be automatically enrolled into Pasos' new Mentorship Program - a 4 year program with the goal of helping the Pasos scholars graduate in 4 years while providing them with tools to succeed in college.
Our Pasos Scholarship would not had been possible without the help of our amazing Ridin' with Pasos sponsors: Manhattan Project, Most Famous Cutz, Tacos Tec, Hangover Riders, DCCD, Infinity by Dr. Patel, LULAC, and LA Pickups.
Interested in sponsoring our next Ridin' with Pasos event or donating to our scholarship fund? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org