Endowed Scholarship & Programs

The Sandra Cisneros “Service to Community” Endowed Scholarship

The Sandra Cisneros “Service to Community” Endowed Scholarship was created to honor an outstanding student for their time, effort, and personal commitment to volunteerism and enhancing civic life in their community. Applicants should also embody the true spirit of civic engagement and volunteerism.

2022 Scholarship Recipient - Taiye Ojo


UTSA Leadership and Volunteer Services is excited to spotlight Taiye Ojo as the 2021-2022 Sandra Cisneros “Service to the Community” Endowed Scholarship recipient.

Taiye shared in her application that The best way I could serve my community is firsthand through volunteerism. I would primarily volunteer through teaching/tutoring young, underserved students, and once I joined university, I volunteered through multiple organizations I take part in: My Sister's Keeper and Black Health Professionals my first semester, and more recently with VOICES. 

Taiye writesThe second-best way I can service my community is to work on developing myself as a leader so I can be a better example to those around me. Having a strong sense of community is more than a sense of belonging but also a sense of wanting others in my community to succeed and be better because of the "I win, you win" mentality. I win every single time I'm able to serve my community as a leader and someone reliable. My dedication to serving my community and being a leader has pushed me into wanting to become an overall better person who is a well-adjusted person who can be a member and resource for the communities I'm in. 

Taiye values and understands the importance of community service and plans to continue give back and become an active leader on campus. 

Applications will open March 1, 2023. Apply on the UTSA Scholarship Hub.

Apply on UTSA Scholarship Hub     

The Longoria Endowment for Service Learning and Leadership Initiatives

UTSA alumnus Manny Longoria ’97, a founding member of the Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education and Service (V.O.I.C.E.S.), has established the Longoria Endowment for Service Learning and Leadership Initiatives. The Longoria Endowment for Service Learning and Leadership Initiatives is used to support the activities of Service Learning and Leadership Initiatives program. This year V.O.I.C.E.S. held their first Beach Clean-Up for the first time in several years. This opportunity allowed students to learn about the effects of littering and non-biodegradable trash while creating community with others in V.O.I.C.E.S. and promoting a deeper sense of global awareness.

In total there were 28 students and 2 staff members participating in the program in Corpus Christi, TX. This program allowed student participants to learn about the issue affecting our planet and reflect on how we all have the ability to contribute towards a more sustainable and cleaner environment. To share their learning and get a sense of their experience, we have shared some quotes from 3 participants.  

Beach Clean Up
“I became an active VOICES member during the 2022 spring semester and sensed a welcoming environment with this group of students. Additionally, with a common interest in volunteering and community service, I knew this was the organization for me. When the executive board introduced us to the beach clean-up event, I immediately checked my schedule and planned to attend, as I've been interested in sustaining our local environment. From the beginning to the end, I enjoyed the entire day cleaning the debris near and on the beach while getting to know my fellow peers. Notably, events like these are very imperative for numerous reasons. For one, they are informative and allow students to gain firsthand experience with different matters in our communities. They also place you in an environment to meet new and memorable people that you would not encounter if you did not attend these events. By the end of the day, I was impressed to see how many bags we filled, but as I think about it, I can relate this event to the idea, "The value of one, the power of all." Ultimately, this event displayed that individually we provide value in doing our part to sustain the environment, but as a community, we can make considerable contributions.” Jesse C. 

"As someone that bikes on trails and regularly sees the beauty of nature, I saw the beach cleanup as an opportunity to help remove trash from the beach in order to make it more enjoyable for not just us, but for the wildlife that lives on the beach. The realization that change begins with one’s own actions and responsibility was evident as most of the trash we collected were cigarettes, cups, etc., even though there were trash cans only a few feet away. I loved looking at the ocean and had fun spending time with my friends picking up trash for a good cause.” Alondra C.  


“Beach clean-up was an amazing experience where members were not only able to contribute to cleaning the beach but also getting to know each other better as the year came to an end. As the special events coordinator for VOICES, I enjoyed planning the event such as contacting shuttle companies and restaurants. I also enjoyed partnering with the Texas coast clean-up crew to get advice on how to go about the event and what supplies were needed to ensure we were successful and prepared to make a difference to the Corpus Christi beaches. I am very thankful for the funding from Manny Longoria, which made this event possible. We all had a great time and the memories made in Corpus Christi are ones I will never forget!” Gabriella B.  

Experiential volunteer opportunities serve as a catalyst for students to become global citizens through the program. Community service empowers and challenges students to understand their relationship within the global community through education, reflection, and service. These experiences build leadership skills for the student trip leaders and for participants through planning, active involvement, reflection, and evaluation of the program. Alternative Break experiences challenge students to critically think, react to problems faced by members of the community, and offers an opportunity explore the culture of their host city that week.