Two UHV seniors receive scholarships for outstanding work performances

Sept. 15, 2012 at 4:15 a.m.

Ellen Vallejo, a University of Houston-Victoria senior, takes pride in her job because she knows her actions can have a lasting impact on at-risk high school students.

"I think I've become someone who these students can talk with and someone they can trust," she said.

Because they demonstrated the qualities of good employees, Vallejo and fellow UHV senior Natasha Kellis recently received $500 scholarships from UHV Career Services.

In July, employers on and off campus submitted letters nominating students and describing why they deserved the scholarships.

Edna native Vallejo works for Communities in Schools of the Golden Crescent, a service offered by Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent. She was nominated by her supervisor, Carmen Herrera-Lara.

Vallejo, who is studying psychology in the UHV School of Arts & Sciences, said she was really excited to receive the scholarship. This is her second year working with students at Victoria East High School. She previously worked at Edna High School.

"I work with anyone who struggles in academics, behavior and attendance, or has social service needs," she said. "I'm an extra resource for them on campus so they can get the extra help they need."

Kellis worked last school year for UHV Student Life & Services. She is studying early childhood education in the UHV School of Education & Human Development. She was nominated for the award by Janet Foerster, UHV student life coordinator.

Foerster said Kellis stood out by demonstrating her ability to be self-disciplined and punctual.

"She was always there to fill in for others when her schedule allowed it and often volunteered for extra hours," Foerster said. "She was a great help during Jaguar Days, commencement and Passport Days, as well as giving individual tours of the campus."

Foerster said Kellis contributed to the overall success of Student Life & Services.

"Natasha would also lend her input for improvements on our website and for office procedures," Foerster said. "She helped with training new student workers, and I was confident in the information she gave them as well as the students she assisted on the phone."



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