“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have, or even what you have accomplished… It’s
about who you have lifted up, who you have made better. It’s about what you have given back.” –
Denzel Washington |
Marcelo exemplifies this quote because of his remarkable efforts to give back and serve during
this month of April. Marcelo is a second year international student from Costa Rica who not only
has served as an example of a stellar student but also took on many leadership responsibilities in
his organizations, including Relay for Life and Armstrong Commons community council.
On April 6th, Marcelo served on the Relay for Life planning committee to raise $73,595.11 for
cancer research and programming. As a leader on the committee, Marcelo stated “We’ve made a
lot of progress in overcoming it (cancer), but there’s still work to be done. I joined a Relay For Life
event to support the American Cancer Society’s mission to free the world from the pain and
suffering from cancer.” Leading up to this event, Marcelo actively was fundraising and reaching out
to other students to participate in the event. Marcelo then had to rethink plans on the day of when
the weather didn’t allow for an outdoor walk, so Marcelo and the rest of the planning committee
had to implement their rain plan indoors. However, Marcelo’s efforts to make the world better did
not stop here.
In fact, during the month of April, Marcelo also volunteered with the SMU Hunt Institute to
educate attendees on the development of the 3Dponics system. Marcelo helped introduce “Evie”,
a converted camping trailer, now a mobile greenhouse to the audience of the EarthX 2018
Convention and Expo. Marcelo, who’s majoring in Biology, used this opportunity to explained how
3Dponics is a precise irrigation method that allows plants to grow without soil, providing
accessible freshly grown produce to everyone facing environmental or financial obstacles. This is
just one example of how Marcelo wishes to make a difference by raising awareness of important
Not only does Marcelo aspire to serve people both locally and nationally, but also here at his
university campus. This month, Marcelo started a new tradition for his residential community. In
efforts to create a strong community in Armstrong, Marcelo proposed the idea of hosting an end of
year banquet to celebrate all of the accomplishments of students in the building. Despite receiving
little support from other students on the council due to the busy time of year, Marcelo planned a
beach themed party, called Armstrong End of the Year Banquet, filled with beach themed
decorations, a taco bar, an ice-cream bar, outdoor games, summer tunes, and recognition awards.
The event was the only event that Armstrong put on this month, and it had more attendance than
any event since January. Residents stayed much longer than just a few minutes, listening to music
or playing with soccer balls or footballs and enjoying their last few days before finals as a
community. Marcelo faced several challenges in implementing this new tradition. Days before, he
received word that there wasn’t funding for his original plans, causing him to pivot his ideas and
come up with a different plan that costed less yet implemented flawlessly.
Despite his stellar campus involvement, Marcelo was also recognized as an exceptional
student. Marcelo received the Italian Language Award at the university honors convocation.
Marcelo has inspired others with his actions to serve, educate, give back and lead in his
community. Marcelo’s tremendous initiative and passion clearly qualifies him for Student of the
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