About 520 people gathered at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Power Leadership Breakfast to remember the life and work of Dr. King and to discuss how to bring his dream of a greater, more equitable future to life. The annual event was held Jan. 14 at Collin College’s Spring Creek Campus.
The breakfast included student presentations and performances, table discussions on the theme “Celebrate the Legacy, Act on the Dream” and the announcement of multiple scholarships. The event honored the following students and community members:
• Community member and business leader Earl Simpkins was honored for his leadership and service with a scholarship named in his honor. The former executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Collin County and a longtime member of the Plano MLK Committee and Plano Community Forum, Simpkins has also given his time to the Urban League’s BEEP Program, a program for black executives involved in visiting minority college students to better prepare them for industry-related careers. The recipient of the Earl Simpkins Scholarship, Eric Mugo, plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin where he will study math and statistics on the road to becoming an actuary. Originally from Kenya and now living in Allen, Mugo served as a Boy Scout and a volunteer at his church.
• Two students were awarded Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Scholarships. Chisom Ogoke of Plano plans to attend Texas State University for a bachelor’s degree in English and Anthropology before beginning graduate studies and ultimately earning her doctorate. Cindy Zhang, originally of Nanchang, China and living in Richardson, is studying respiratory therapy at Collin College and has been an active participant in campus life as an orientation leader for two years.
• Laura Lightfoot-Reyes, of Dallas, was the recipient of the first-ever Powerful Journey Scholarship. Lightfoot-Reyes has volunteered at a local elder care facility, is a member of the Political Justice League and has helped with Mosaic and Habitat for Humanity builds. She plans to become a physician’s assistant specializing in pediatrics. The Powerful Journey Scholarship, which was created last year, is designated to provide a financial award to a mother of a child with special needs.
Scholarships are awarded annually at the Plano Martin Luther King Jr. Power Breakfast, and donations for the scholarship fund are accepted throughout the year through the Collin College Foundation. For more information on making a gift to this fund, call 972-599-3145.