The Tyler Hispanic Business Alliance is inviting Tyler area graduating high school seniors to participate in the Mayra Cedillo Memorial Scholarship Essay Contest.

Ms. Cedillo died in 2003 at the age of 19 after a wreck involving a drunken driver.

Jeremy Coe, who represented Ms. Cedillo's family in the case and initiated the scholarship, described her as an excellent student who attended Kilgore College.

She was studying to be a paralegal, had earned a black belt in tae kwon do and worked full-time, among other involvement and accomplishments.

Her parents were from Mexico, but became naturalized American citizens and Ms. Cedillo was born in the United States.

"She was such an impressive young woman," he said. "(I was) so impressed by her story and the obstacles she had overcome and achieved at an early age."

The alliance is offering three scholarships totaling $1,500 as part of the essay contest.

Applicants must be graduating this year from a Tyler area high school. The contest is open to all eligible students regardless of race, gender or national origin.

To be eligible to win, students must follow the guidelines for submission and email their essays to by 5 p.m. April 30. The email subject line must read "Essay Contest Submission." The winners will be announced by 5 p.m. May 5.

The essay prompt is "Overcoming Challenges to Higher Education for Hispanic Students in Texas."

In their essays, students can discuss the prompt in an academic fashion by using statistics, demographic trends and more, or share their own personal story or that of a family member or friend.

Successful essays may combine these approaches, according to information about the application process.

Essays must be between 600 and 800 words with no subtitles, typewritten in a 12-point font, justified, and double-spaced between lines.

A cover sheet should accompany all submissions. It should include the following information double-spaced and centered: name, name of parents or guardians, home address and phone number and high school.

The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 cash scholarship with $500 paid on or before Aug. 15 and $500 paid on or before Jan. 15, 2015.

The second-place winner will receive a $300 cash scholarship payable on or before Aug. 15.

The third-place winner will receive a $200 cash scholarship payable on or before Aug. 15.

All awards are contingent upon proof of college enrollment.

The Law Office of Jeremy Coe in association with the Tyler Hispanic Business Alliance is sponsoring the scholarship.



City Editor

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