This story was originally published in the Dec. 14 issue of Alliance for Iowa State. The Alliance advocates Iowa State University’s land grant mission throughout Iowa while focusing its advocacy on state legislators and public policy makers. Read archived stories here.
Iowa State University’s Multicultural Vision Program (MVP) Award grants full-tuition to 100 incoming multicultural students each year. The scholarship is open to high school seniors in Iowa who demonstrate academic potential in ways that go beyond class ranking or test scores.
The MVP is also a learning community that provides recipients opportunities to develop self-awareness and leadership through seminars, peer mentoring, and community building activities. MVP scholars are presented with a variety of academic and social resources to support the transition to college, retention, and graduation from Iowa State. In addition, recipients engage in a community that fosters cultural competence and social justice.
"The MVP Award is so special because it has given so many people an opportunity to go to college," said Berenice Real, senior in psychology. "It has given students the space to grow as leaders and make a difference in their communities."
Jazmin Murguia received the MVP Outstanding Student Leader Award last week.
"From the moment I received my acceptance letter from ISU, to when I received my MVP Award letter, I knew that I wanted to give back to this community, even if I didn’t know how I was going to do it," said Jazmin Murguia, senior in journalism and mass communication.
In the spirit of giving back, Jazmin and Berenice made the decision to pursue graduate studies in higher education. Both are also members of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ (NASPA) Undergraduate Fellows Program. The NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP) provides students from historically disenfranchised populations an opportunity to explore the field of higher education and student affairs while being mentored by a professional on campus. Students can explore multiple areas of student affairs through interactive assignments and immersion experiences.
Jazmin spent the past summer working with her mentor on recruiting students to the Building Opportunities in Leadership & Diversity (BOLD) first-year learning community. Jazmin hopes to continue her passion of advising first-generation college students. Her long-term goal is to create and implement policies that will help students of marginalized identities overcome challenges in navigating college campuses.
The NUFP enabled Berenice to attend the Dungy Leadership Institute which focuses on leadership and professional skills while engaging in dialogue about cultural competency, ethics, and counternarratives. Berenice plans to explore opportunities for college access through work in student development and academic advising, with a long-term goal of becoming faculty.
"I feel grateful for the experiences," said Berenice. "I wouldn’t be the person I am today without MVP and support of NUFP."