Bryant Ortega has been chosen by the Minnesota Private College Fund as a 2010-2012 Phillips Scholar, the Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement (CILCE) has announced. A sophomore majoring in business legal studies and Catholic studies, he is one of six Phillips Scholars in Minnesota who will design and implement summer programs to address important social issues.
Ortega will begin his research and program development this summer and will receive a total of $15,650 in Phillips’ funds for his education and to complete his service project between his junior and senior years. The selection process is highly competitive, with private college students from across the state vying for one of six scholarships. Ortega was recognized for both his past involvement and his ongoing dedication to serving others.
Ortega’s initiative is Project HOPE, which will create an environment for school-aged children and their families to make healthy choices and create new behaviors among children to increase physical activity and self-esteem. Project HOPE will focus both on the child and the family structure in order to support the growth of the child and positive health behaviors. The project also will be a collaborative effort with Project for Pride in Living (PPL). PPL is a nonprofit organization that works with lower-income individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency through housing, employment training, support services and education.
Ortega also is involved in the Homework N’Hoops Literacy Connections Program, Hana, Undergraduate Student Government, Men’s Volleyball Club, Latino Leaders, Spanish Club, Saint Paul’s Outreach, Liturgical Ministry and the Catholic Discovery Group.
The university accepts applications from sophomores for Phillips Scholar competition. Candidates propose service project ideas, and St. Thomas ultimately selects one sophomore to advance to the state level of competition, based on the student’s academic credentials, leadership experience, and desire to dedicate a portion of his or her life to community service.
For more information about the Phillips Scholars Program, visit the Minnesota Private College Fund Web site.