A trio of Polk County students received special awards and recognition last week during the National Migrant Education Conference in San Antonio.
Michelle Leon-Garcia and Agustin Lozano — both from Fort Meade High — were two of just four national scholarship winners at the event. Each received the $5,000 Albert Lee Wright, Jr. Memorial Migrant Scholarship, which honors migrant farmworker students who have overcome barriers, performed well academically and provided service to their community.
In addition, Aracely Rendon Morales from Summerlin Academy received the first-ever Humanitarian Award presented by the National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education. Morales earned the honor (which includes a $2,000 scholarship) for “extraordinary service to migrant families” in her community by providing more than 600 hours of volunteer work.
Leon-Garcia and Lozano were able to attend last week’s conference in San Antonio, along with staff from PCPS.
“They both said it was a life-changing experience for them,” said Dee Dee Wright, PCPS’ senior coordinator of special programs. “They were overwhelmed and extremely gracious with the support they received. They were truly amazing while sharing their stories in front of 1,200 conference attendees.”
Wright noted that PCPS’ migrant intervention teachers are also deserving of recognition. Meylin Nickerson (pictured with Leon-Garcia and Lozano) works at Fort Meade High, and Dani Higgins has assisted Morales at Summerlin Academy.
“Our migrant intervention teachers really do a lot to help these kids be as successful as they are,” Wright said. “They just do amazing work.”