PAISOC received nearly one-hundred applications for our summer DCI scholarship, and while many of our applicants were truly exceptional, one stood out among the rest.
Manuel Mendoza is currently studying Music Education in California and, as he described to us, one day hopes to be a teacher that inspires at risk youth to pursue their passions in the performing arts. Pushed by a desire to march his age out with his dream corps and aided with a superior ability to persevere in the face of adversity, Manuel was recently contracted with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps and will be traveling with them this summer.
As with all of our previously announced winners, we asked Manuel a couple questions to help you get to know him a little better.
When did you first get involved with DCI?
I first got involved with DCI December of 2011 when I first auditioned with the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets. I had no idea what drum corps was until a week before my audition but was able to join the group for that summer and many more summers after that as well!
How will this scholarship help you pursue your goal of marching in 2018?
This scholarship will help ease the financial stress from my family! My family and I have been working countless hours to help fund for my age out this summer and this really helped us out a lot when things were starting to get tight. I cant thank PAISOC enough for awarding me this scholarship!
Why did you choose to march with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps?
I chose the Bluecoats because I love what they stand for. I have friends and former instructors that currently are involved with the corps and in hearing their stories, I just had me see for myself. I will say this, it is a choice I do not regret. I have learned so much from this organization and will continue to learn from them as the season rolls along! I am so extremely excited to be aging out with the Bluecoats!
When asked why Manuel was chosen to be awarded the maximum amount for the PAISOC summer scholarship, Jamil Jorge – PAISOC Founder and President had this to say:
Manuel’s application stood out for a variety of reasons. Diversity was more than about increasing the number of Hispanics or students of color participating in an ensemble. For Manuel, it was about realizing that everyone does not fit within a “stereotype” or “mold,” but that a student’s greatest potential for musical and intellectual growth happens when provided with opportunities for new and different experiences. His words and actions advocated for more opportunities where students can be actively involved with something different, and be unopposed by financial barriers. Manuel also showed incredible drive to overcome obstacles many students of color face, demonstrating his capabilities as a positive leader and role-model. Overall, Manuel was aligned with our own values as an organization and we are excited to have him represent us.
We are honored to be a part of Manuel’s journey this summer as he completes his age out with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. This summer, as we continue to track our scholarship recipients progress and growth, we will especially look forward to cheering Manuel on with a hearty “bloooooooo” as he takes the field and achieves his goal. We are positive that this spectacular achievement will not be his last.