The Ellis County Hispanic Organization (ECHO) awarded a $250 scholarship to Maria Baez and Patty Coronado to aid them in their continued education.

ECHO is a community-based organization dedicated to promoting Latino culture, arts, education, economic intercultural partnerships and goodwill between the towns of Ellis County. Secretary of the organization's board Maria Urias said there were several applicants, but Baez and Coronado were awarded for their active roles in the community.

“These young ladies have the potential to become great leaders,” Urias said. “Both of them have already taken active roles in the community by serving in various organizations. We believe they will both go on to do great things in life and the community.”

When Baez received the call that she was a scholarship recipient, she spent the rest of the day skipping through the halls of the college.

“I was so happy that they called me,” Baez said. “I was so excited that I skipped everywhere I went. People kept looking at me and asking me why I was so happy. I told them that I had just been awarded a scholarship.”

She said this scholarship is about more than just money, it's about the fact that someone recognized the potential in her and chose to award her efforts.

“Receiving this scholarship is very meaningful to me,” she said. “I love what this organization (ECHO) stands for and the idea behind who they are. I believe through ECHO, the minorities of this city and county can join together to become a strong community.”

Baez is employed with the Waxahachie YMCA and is an active member of the Que Pasa Club at Navarro College Waxahachie Campus. She will graduate from NC in December with an associate's of science degree. She plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington where she will pursue her nursing degree.

Coronado said when the organization called her she was in the library of Texas Wesleyan University studying.

“I yelled when I got the call,” Coronado said. “I was so excited because I was running low on funds and needed some copy paper. This call scholarship came in the nick of time.”

She said she applied for the scholarship, because ECHO represents all ethnicities coming together and makes a piece of America a true melting pot.

She graduated with an associate's in arts in teaching from Navarro College in May. She is pursuing her degree in biology and desires to teach and coach at Midlothian High School.

“I loved competing in high school as a wrestler,” she said. “I also love art and teaching.”

Coronado's ultimate goal is to become the first female wrestling coach in the district.

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