University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Crystal City Senior Wins Historia y Comunidad First Place

July 24, 2012

Pre-College Hispanic Initiatives, a unit of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin, formally awarded a $1,500 scholarship award to Emmanuel Briseño, first place prize winner of the 2012 Historia y Comunidad Essay Competition. The essay competition is a unique opportunity for high school students to engage in scholarly research and record past and present contributions of Latina/o communities in Texas.  Emmanuel received the award for his essay titled, “The Crystal City Walkout.” Emmanuel recently graduated from Crystal City High School and will be attending UT Austin as a mechanical engineering major in fall 2012.

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Emmanuel Briseno and family

Emmanuel is a 2012 graduate of Crystal City High School. He is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society at Southwest Texas Junior College.  He has earned over 30 college hours while in high school is also a member of the marching band, which competed at the state marching competition during Emmanuel’s freshman and junior year. He participated in the GeoFORCE program at the Jackson School of Geosciences during his 8th grade year which spurred his interest in engineering. He was admitted to  The University of Texas at Austin where he intends to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

“I wrote about the walkout because my mother’s side of the family was very involved in the 1969 school walkout at the Crystal City Independent School District.  One of my uncles was one of the five student leaders and my grandmother was one of the five parent leaders,” said Emmanuel. “The most important lesson that I have learned from this experience [conducting research and writing his essay] is that when you see that things are wrong, you must stand up and fight for what is right.  In my case, I have learned that whatever may be wrong, doesn’t necessarily have to involve me, but I feel that I will stand up for others when I see that they are being mistreated and bullied.”

To learn more about the scholarship, please visit: http://ddce.utexas.edu/hycessay/. There are plans for this essay competition to become a University Interscholastic League statewide event.

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