Scholarships Created by Young Attorney to Be Presented 6/23/14 06/23/14 11:13:05 PM
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Scholarships Created by Young Attorney
To Be Presented at Gala Dinner July 10
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
Attorney Ross Pesek is living proof that you can turn an idea, a dream, into a reality.
The young lawyer, who has been practicing law at Dornan, Lustgarten and Troia law firm in Omaha since he graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2010, was able to attend college and law school because of the generosity of others. He attended Central Community College, Wayne State College and the University of Nebraska College of Law over seven years and scholarships covered all of his tuition.
An Omaha native fluent in Spanish, Pesek wanted to find a way to pay it forward. So he created a free legal clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in South Omaha, helped over 60 people receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA or “Dream Act”) legal immigration status, and created the “True Potential” scholarship fund for those with DACA status.
Pesek didn’t do it for recognition, but he earned some kudos anyway for his efforts. Ross was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award 2014 at Central Community College, the 2014 Early Achiever Award by the University of Nebraska College of Law and the Nebraska Bar Association’s 2013 Nebraska Outstanding Young Lawyer.
These young immigrants are not eligible for any public benefits, including federal financial aid and many other outside scholarships. Because of the public funds restriction, True Potential uses 100 percent private donations and private institutional funds to help these scholarship recipients to reach their true potential.
Partners in the program are Matters on Tomorrow; Dornan, Lustgarten & Troia PC, LLO; Central Community College; Metropolitan Community College; Southeast Community College; Northwest Iowa Community College; and Radio Lobo 97.7 FM.
After more than 18 months of planning, True Potential is ready to grant the first round of scholarships to five outstanding students for the 2014-2015 school year. This year’s scholarships – five of them – will be presented to Yessica Aleman, Daisy Beltran, Fernando Gomez, Jackeline Lopez and Lorena Salas.
“We have been very successful thus far, working to partner with the four community colleges these students are attending. With their agreement to match our funds for each student’s education, it is our hope to continue to expand this program in the future, supporting these initial five students, while selecting more recipients in the years to come,” Pesek said.
“I’d like to extend a personal invitation to join me at the first annual True Potential Scholarship Dinner on Thursday, July 10. Honoring the 2014 recipients of this award, we want to celebrate these outstanding students while also raising money to support future recipients.”
The cost of this gala event – which will be held at the Mexican Consulate at 7444 Farnam Street – is $75 per person, or $750 to reserve a table with ten seats. Cocktails (beer and wine cash bar) are at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 and the presentations at 7 p.m. Cocktail attire is requested.
“Beyond making an impact on the True Potential Scholarship future, the dinner will be a fun and energizing evening; a great opportunity to enjoy the company of friends, and a time to meet new people who are united in their mission to support this wonderful scholarship,” Pesek said. Donations above and beyond are greatly appreciated! If you cannot attend you can give a tax-deductible donation online through Razoo or Paypal.
Reservations should be made by July 1 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s scholarships – five of them – will be presented to: Fernando Gomez, Jackeline Lopez, Yessica Aleman, Daisy Beltran and Lorena Salas.
Yessica Aleman – Metropolitan Community College
Yessica currently attends Metropolitan Community College, hoping to transfer to a university to complete her studies. The first person in her family to attend college, Yessica’s dream is to become a teacher. She volunteers in several organizations including the Jewish Community Center and Inclusive Communities to help develop youth leaders.
Daisy Beltran – Southeast Community College
Daisy is a Southeast Community College student working towards becoming a research biologist. Daisy is an excellent student, working since the 10th grade to help pay for her education. Volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club of America, tutoring, and participating in Student Senate are only a few ways in which Daisy is involved and giving back to her community.
Fernando Gomez – Central Community College
Fernando completed one semester at Wayne State College, studying pre-pharmacy, when his father was deported. Moving back to Columbus to help support his family, he enrolled in the nursing program at Central Community College. Hoping he can work as a nurse to pay for his education to become a pharmacist, Fernando has shown a resilient spirit as he perseveres to achieve his goals.
Jackeline Lopez – Central Community College
Jackeline was the first in her family to graduate from high school and is now pursuing her nursing degree beginning at Central Community College this fall. Giving her time to help others through volunteer work, blood drives, toy drives, and Adopt a Highway, Jackeline is dedicated to helping others. With her family’s inability to support her financially through school, Jackeline has shown her persistence and hard work.
Lorena Salas – Northwest Iowa Community College
Lorena, a young mother of three, will graduate from Northwest Iowa Community College in the spring of 2015. Working full time and keeping a 4.0 GPA, she continues to excel in her nursing program. Lorena has proved an inspiration to younger siblings who are now enrolling in college after seeing her success through her GED and determination.