Imagine being told you just received a full scholarship to a university. That’s exactly what David Ortiz-Leon and Olga Fritz-Pulford just learned. They are Phoenix College (PC) 2020 All USA Scholarship nominees (and All AZ Winners!). They will join 23 students from other colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District.
To be considered for an All-Arizona Academic Team, students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, be in good academic standing, work towards an associate degree, demonstrate leadership, and be involved on campus or volunteer in their communities.
David Ortiz-Leon, an engineering major, could not continue his education without this scholarship without building up a mountain of debt in the process. He is the Chapter President for the Rho Pi Chapter of PTK, and a Regional Officer for the AZ PTK Region. And if being an all-star student wasn’t enough, he also happens to have a wonderful voice and sings at PC’s employee convocation events.
“We need men like David in our universities,” said Communication Faculty Amy MacPherson. “He is intelligent and compassionate. He is someone who will make a difference and always be reaching back to pull others forward along with himself.”
The process of selecting students for the All-Arizona Academic Team is quite elaborate and has three judging rounds. The first round occurs at a local level, while the second and third rounds are completed in Washington D.C. by various federal and national education associations. Scores from the national competition determine each state's team rankings. First-team members attending eligible Arizona colleges receive a $1,000 scholarship, second-team members a $750 scholarship, and third-team members a $500 scholarship. The All-USA Academic honors outstanding students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Each school is limited to nominating a total of four students per campus.
Phoenix College other All AZ Winner is Olga Frizt-Pulford, by all accounts, a remarkable young woman who uses knowledge about her autism to better understand herself - her strengths and her areas of improvement. She is passionate about caring for the planet.
“When I think of Olga, I am reminded of this pledge that my daughter used to say each morning at her Montessori School: I pledge allegiance to the Earth and to all life that it nourishes. All growing things and all species of animals and all races of people. I promise to protect all life on our planet. To live in harmony with nature and to share our resources justly so that all people can live with dignity, good health and have peace,” said MacPherson.
Phoenix College continues to meet the needs of underrepresented students, providing a place where they can flourish and grow as scholars and people.