Making the jump from high school to college is no easy feat. Whether a student takes every class possible and joins every club offered or plays it safe with a calm schedule and no outside distractions, life inevitably is going to get stressful for students.
The Amarillo College No Limits, No Excuses, program is an opportunity to give students a helping hand through challenges often encountered in college. Students who meet requirements for the program are matched up with a faculty member on campus, and for the year, the faculty member mentors the student.
One of the champions of the program, general studies major and ACES scholar Kimberly Murguia, stands as an example not only of the successes of the program but as a role model for all AC students. Her mentor, Dalila Paredes, is a biology instructor, Science Enrichment Center supervisor and adviser of Psi Theta Kappa. Paredes said Murguia has gone above and beyond representing AC to the community.
Murguia recently participated in the Miss Latina pageants.
After winning the Miss Amarillo Latina 2013 pageant, Murguia was first runner-up in another pageant, Miss Texas Latina 2013, staged in the Amarillo Civic Center auditorium in early April.
“At the pageant, I was right behind her parents and we were cheering and screaming for her,” Paredes said. “It was really touching, and she did well. She represented AC really well at that pageant.”
In addition to Murguia’s pageantry, Paredes said Murguia is a strong leader and compassionate person in and out of the classroom.
“Kimberly is just one of those people who is really approachable, super sweet and very nice,” Paredes said.
“I’ve seen her out in the hallways leading little study groups before she and her classmates take tests. On a personal level, she’s probably one of the nicest people I know.”
Mentoring Program Coordinator Trena Rider also pointed out Murguia’s continued dedication to representing the college through her exemplary involvement in the No Limits, No Excuses, program.
“Kimberly has worked hard this year and hopes to become a peer leader next year to help other students like herself,” Rider said. “She is dedicated to her studies and is well spoken.”
Rider said Murguia spoke at a meeting about the importance of education when the No Limits program was granted $297,000 from the Amarillo Area Foundation through a nonprofit group in Round Rock.
According to Rider, Murguia is a first-year college student and is following in her sister’s footsteps. Murguia “is doing a great job of representing both AC and Amarillo,” Rider said.
Murguia spends time keeping up with her studies, participating in pageants and attending events due to her newly earned titles. She said the mentoring program has helped her tremendously.
“I’ve enjoyed having Dalila as a mentor, because she’s helped me make the right choices educationally, and she has also helped me emotionally,” Murguia said.
“She really helped me become more confident in myself. She always tells me that I’ll do great and that I have a beautiful personality. She went to the Miss Texas Latina pageant and supported me. She was very proud of me, and she was cheering for me with my parents.”
Her new title has come with new responsibilities, and as a result, she has spent time considering ways to lead by example those who look up to her.
“I want to make the right choices,” Murguia said. “I make sure people can see that I’m working hard to get my education, and I want people to see that I am going somewhere with my career and that I find what my passion is.”