“....there have been people in my life who encouraged me and lifted me up when I needed it most. That’s what I want to do too.”
Former Erin Tierney Kramp Scholar
Alumnus, Mountain View College
Associate Director of Community Outreach, Meadow School of the Arts, SMU
Raul Magdaleno believes that receiving a helping hand creates the obligation to give one in return.
Because he was given the opportunity to go to college against the odds, he wants to make sure that others in difficult circumstances also have a chance at higher education.
Today, Raul is a Southern Methodist University graduate and director of diversity and community engagement for SMU's Meadows School of the Arts. In 2001, he was a Mountain View College student struggling to overcome a background of poverty and family problems.
Raul was one of 10 children raised alone by his mother. Eventually all of Raul's brothers and his father were incarcerated. His sisters then dropped out of school to escape an abusive stepfather.
The only member of his family to graduate from high school, he was awarded an Erin Tierney Kramp (ETK) Encouragement Scholarship for students who exemplify perseverance and courage in the face of adversity. “That scholarship provided a source of motivation for me,” says Raul. “It removed obstacles that allowed me to just focus on getting an education.”
Always conscious of giving because he had received, Raul raised half a million dollars to build a domestic violence shelter in east Dallas, where he grew up, and was awarded a U.S. Congressional Medal for more than 29,000 hours of community service.
In one more act of giving back, Raul was instrumental in setting up the Erin Tierney Kramp Honors Transfer Scholarship at SMU, allowing recipients of the Kramp scholarships at the colleges of DCCCD with a minimum 3.5 GPA to transfer into SMU with full tuition paid for up to 5 semesters, totaling about $78,000. The scholarship is the only community college transfer agreement that SMU has in place.
“I’ve always believed that it’s an obligation to give back to the people and organizations that have invested in my life,” says Raul. “DCCCD and the ETK scholarship are among those.”
“I wasn’t fortunate enough to have parents who could meet my needs, but there have been people in my life who encouraged me and lifted me up when I needed it most,” he says. “That’s what I want to do too.”
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