For DonorsFor Applicants

Jimmy Cardenas Community Leader Scholarship

1 winner$501
Application Deadline
Dec 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Jan 15, 2025
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Must be an undergraduate student or in trade school
Career of Interest:
Must be interested in serving your community via your career

Jimmy Cardenas inspires others through his resiliency and dedication to protecting his community.

This scholarship aims to honor Jimmy Cardenas by supporting undergraduate students in Texas with similar aspirations to also serve their community. Students who are building a better community through personal leadership activities may apply, while those currently enrolled in a college or university criminal justice degree program are preferred.

Underrepresented minorities and first-generation students are encouraged to apply!

To apply, tell us about a time when you overcame obstacles instead of giving up, and write about how you have demonstrated leadership in your life.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published June 14, 2024
Essay Topic

To apply, tell us about a time when you overcame obstacles instead of giving up, and write about how you have demonstrated leadership in your life.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jace Beard
Texas Tech UniversityMesquite, TX
Shantell Mishler
Galen College of Nursing-San AntonioGonzales, TX
I am a mother of 3 boys ages 5, 9, & 10. I also have a live-in grandmother who I care for physically and financially. I am a first-generation college student. I manage and teach lego robotics for our county 4-H program. I am an LVN pursuing her BSN to obtain my DNP. I want to train nurses, research in my field, and work in a clinic/bedside position. I want to impact my community further by providing services to the community through healthcare. Because I am a first-generation college student, I know I want to take my career to the furthest path, the DNP, to show my boys that any goal is possible with perseverance no matter where you came from. I previously worked as an EMT for four years before becoming an LVN. Before that, I also worked as a CNA for many years. I am currently enrolled in an LVN to BSN program at Aspen University. I work a full-time job during the week, a part-time job on weekends, and I am a full-time student in Aspen's hybrid online program where I attend classes on campus 1-2 times a week and then complete the coursework online the rest of the week. My greatest challenge has been my education. I do not have parents who could ever afford to go to school or pursue it themselves. My dad and My grandparents are all high school dropouts who later in life got GEDs. I am the first in many generations to pursue a degree, and I want to pursue it as far as I can. I want to show my boys that no matter where we come from, we can still be anything we want as long as we are willing to work harder than everyone around us.
Jeremy Lachut
Ozarks Technical Community CollegeFort Leonard Wood, MO
I overcame an obstacle while serving in a tour in Germany. Upon returning from Croatia after a 30-day field Exercise, I started to become very ill. I contracted jaundice, became very nauseated, and constantly exhausted. I very quickly found myself in the emergency room at an off-post hospital. The doctors checked me out and found a build up of gall stones. They ensured me that I would spend three days tops in the hospital. After clearing the gall stones, my health quickly started to decline. I started to have organ failure and my bilirubin elevated to exorbitated levels. My blood quickly became toxic. I was put into an ICU, and was attached to hemodialysis, that had two catheters in either side of my neck. I was on the dialyzer for about 3 days and my bilirubin levels dropped. After removing me for hemodialysis, my levels returned to their previous levels. I was then again returned to hemodialysis. This processed repeated itself for over a month. It was Christmas time and I did not want to burden my family. All I told them I was not able to come home this year. After about 2 months of weekly hemodialysis, they again took me off. My levels immediately returned to their previous state. They were baffled by my situation and I was met by the head doctor of the hospital. He informed me that none of their treatments were helping. My liver was too significantly damaged and my outlook was grim. I needed a liver transplant and even then, chances are it would not help. Which is when he told me that I was going to die. My chain of command assisted me in contacting my family so they could fly out and see me one last time. I was left with my thoughts for what seemed an eternity. Other than the occasional nurse visit, I was so dreadfully alone. I looked at my life and wondered if I had done enough. I came to terms with death. I did not have any other option. The doctors came in and hooked me up to hemodialysis one last time. After that round, my bilirubin levels remained lower for a few days. The doctors took a chance and sent me back to the states for further care. I spent another 5 months of constant care in Bethesda, Maryland where I was able to recover and continue on with my Army career. To this day, I am still fighting to overcome what conspired, though, I am doing better. In the military, part of leadership is sacrifice. You sacrifice your time and your families time to ensure the health and welfare of your Soldiers their Families are attended to. There was a Soldier in my charge. He started to exhibit signs of destress and anger. I knew something was wrong. I went to his barracks room that night to check on him. He was crying and had suicidal ideations. He had a plan and did not know what to do. I came in and we sat and talked for hours. I told him that I was not going to leave his side. We discussed a plan of action, and came to an agreement to seek help. I drove him to the emergency room, where he was admitted into in-patient care. I still didn’t leave his side until I knew he was going to be ok. To this day, I still talk to him. He has a wife and a daughter and says he is honestly the happiest he has ever been.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Dec 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jan 15, 2025.