DFW International Airport Awards 20 North Texas Students In First "Share The Dream" Awards
30th Anniversary Celebration Continues; Focus On Youth And Education
DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (January 22, 2004) — DFW International Airport honored the first 20 students to receive the "Share the Dream" award today. The new program commemorates the opening of the Airport 30 years ago and recognizes North Texas students for their personal integrity and determination to be the best they can be. The 20 students attend school in one of five major districts near the Airport, including DFW's owner city districts, Dallas and Fort Worth.
"We are the third busiest Airport in the world, a global transportation hub, and a symbol for freedom, travel and business around the world," Max Wells, DFW Board Chair, told students at today's award ceremony. "And at the heart of it all is our region's youth.”
At the 1973 dedication of the Airport, former Texas Governor John Connally said, "DFW Airport is dedicated to the young faces of the future, here and around the world." DFW’s "Share the Dream" campaign is designed to support, honor and educate area youth in the coming months as the Airport celebrates 30 years of service to North Texas.
The "Share the Dream" program is designed to recognize students who have struggled in school and life and made great improvements toward their dreams. Educators nominate students in grades 9 through 12. Each student wrote a brief essay about his or her life and why it is important to stay in school and persevere to be the best they can be. A committee of Airport employees selected the 20 recipients of the inaugural award.
"When we created the Share the Dream Awards, we wanted to make sure we were doing something that would be unique and honor our youth, support education, and give educators and students a new avenue to explore DFW Airport and learn how it contributes to this community and economy," says Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW Airport. "Our first group of students really exemplifies the youth of our region and their determination to become our future leaders."
The theme is inspired by the "Share the Dream" sculpture standing at Founders Plaza, presented to the Airport by AMR/American Airlines Foundation to commemorate the Airport's 25th Anniversary. The sculpture, created by artist Dennis Smith, symbolizes the love of flight and the spirit of the original dream that became DFW Airport. It is dedicated to future generations with the hope that it may serve as a reminder that dreams can become reality. Depicting three children, the sculpture has an inscription that reads, "On a warm summer evening, on the open Texas prairie, children play with arms outstretched and dream of soaring among the clouds."
"The student essays submitted to the Share the Dream Award committee were in short, awe-inspiring," said Kevin Cox, chief operating officer of DFW. "They read of challenges and overcoming obstacles, future dreams, hope, courage and determination. Those are qualities of the men and women who had the vision to create our great Airport three decades ago and who work at DFW today.
Students received a $200 scholarship award and a commemorative certificate from the Airport. Honorees, their school, district and highlights of their essays below:
DALLAS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT SKYLINE HIGH SCHOOL:
Mario Pina (Grade 10) says: "I know that education will predict your future in ways that right now-- do not seem that likely."
Scott Alcaraz (Grade 11): "In my opinion, the key to success in life is whether or not you have goals for yourself and work hard to accomplish them."
WILMER-HUTCHINS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT WILMER-HUTCHINS HIGH SCHOOL:
Chiquita Searcy (Grade 10) says: "I know that if I had dropped out, I would not be able to fulfill my dream."
Gabriela Reyes (Grade 11) Gabriela's teachers say "Instead of letting choices stop Gabriela from succeeding, she has used them as lessons and is continuing her education."
IRVING INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT IRVING HIGH SCHOOL:
Kaitlin Smith (Grade 10) says: "I know my purpose and I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to be unnoticed, I'm going to be a doctor."
Kenny Hassenteuffel (Grade 12) says: "It is imperative that I graduate... I want to be able to give everything to my children that I did not have."
MACARTHUR HIGH SCHOOL:
David Harmon (Grade 11) says: "I can find a job with a high school diploma... I think about exciting jobs like chasing tornadoes or measuring hurricane strength."
Tommy Ray Mitchell, Jr. (Grade 9) says: "I work hard in school so that I can earn my high school diploma and make my dreams come true."
NIMITZ HIGH SCHOOL:
William Henager (Grade 10) says: "It is important to stay in school... I want to have a nice life and a good paying job; for example, working for American Airlines some day as a pilot flying all over the world and making it safe for the passengers on my plane."
Jessica Hernandez (Grade 12) says: "My greatest dream is to graduate, to make my parents proud... they brought me here (from Mexico) to study; to be the best I can be and so that is what I plan on doing."
FORT WORTH INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT AMON CARTER-RIVERSIDE HIGH SCHOOL:
Kalombo Kabasele (Grade 11) says: "I want to look back years from now and be able to thank my Mom and Dad for their sacrifices allowing me to share in the American dream."
Steven Guajardo (Grade 10) says: "I am determined to get the best out of life that is possible."
POLYTECHNIC HIGH SCHOOL:
Maria Martinez (Grade 12) says: "Opportunities come and go everyday and if you don't take the choice and risk and take advantage of that opportunity, you are not going very far."
Trinh Tran (Grade 10) says: "I want to have a better life, I want to spend each of my days wisely. My goal is to finish school and be a teacher..."
SUCCESS HIGH SCHOOL:
Oscar Armendarez (Grade 9) says: "There is a future for anyone who just puts their mind into making their goals come true."
Andrea Embers (Grade 12) says: "With a high school diploma I can become anything that I want to be. A lot of doors will open for my dreams."
HURST-EULESS-BEDFORD INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT KEYS HIGH SCHOOL:
Kimberley Fegurgur (Grade 12) says: "You cannot always dream about careers that you want to do; you have to go for it."
Paulina Cruz (Grade 11) says: "I understand that life looks like a ladder-- it goes step by step."
GRAPEVINE-COLLEYVILLE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT GRAPEVINE HIGH SCHOOL:
Ragan Bedinger (Grade 10) says: "A good education is a must in order to pursue your dreams and goals in life."
Sophia Shah (Grade 12) says: "I learned to find some inner strength that got me out of the bed every morning and into the car to go to school."
To arrange interviews contact DFW Public Affairs at 972 574 NEWS (6397) or Ken Capps, APR, Vice President Public Affairs, email@example.com