“Life may present you with challenges, but every individual possesses the courage to overcome adversity” ~ Erik Zamudio (2010 Scholarship Fund Recipient)

Each finalist for the Scholarship Fund and Straight “A” Scholarship is unique in their own way, but they all have one thing in common: their ability to overcome adversity. From Jarrin Taul, whose speech impediment didn’t hold him back from getting on stage and flawlessly giving his acceptance speech, to Elizabeth Potter, who works part time to pay her college expenses while maintaining honor roll status, these students never let their adversities define them.

Erik Zamudio, our 2010 Scholarship Fund winner, never let the adversity of Erik Zamudiogrowing up quickly after his Dad was deployed to Afghanistan hold him back. Erik became the man of the house and sacrificed sports and hanging out with friends in order to help out at home and care for his sister. Erik has said that one of the most valuable lessons he has learned is to look at adversity as an opportunity. Erik made something good out of a difficult situation. He learned to change his goals and become a more mature person. He is now a junior at the University of Cincinnati studying Marketing. Over the past year, Erik has developed marketing campaigns for the first UC-sponsored applications for smartphone devices and the Freestore Foodbank and their new catering line. He is currently working in a product design studio for the Boeing Company!

Erik, like many other Scholarship finalists (see Brittney Miller blog post), is also following our mission of impacting others. Erik has said:

“Through the Foundation’s example I have found the importance of helping others.  This past summer I created a small non-profit that provides the Erik Zamudio 2indigent workers at the River Downs Race Track clinic with fresh produce and healthy food alternatives. I noticed that a common problem within the track was that workers were malnourished and unable to get a balance of the essential vitamins needed to endure long workdays.  After realizing this, a friend and I started our own garden and donated all of our produce to the workers in a free farmer’s market setup.  Every other week we would head down to the track and set up between four and five full picnic tables worth of produce for the clinic patients and workers to take.”

What started off as a small idea to help others turned into a huge success. By the end of the summer, Erik and his friend were providing fresh produce to nearly 200 workers and their families!

Be sure to apply today for the Scholarship Fund and share how you have overcome adversity!

Mike Rizio
Programs Intern