Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Metro Tech Foundation's Sixth Banquet & Awards

Metro Tech's 6th Annual Foundation Banquet was another huge success. The personal stories of students recognized often were amazing. Various foundation expenditures include student scholarships, grants, and recognition.The financial reporting on how foundation funds are deployed to help keep students in school and/or launch them into their first jobs would make even the smallest donor proud.

If you are unfamiliar with this model foundation, the first Metro Tech Seeds of Hope Banquet we attended is chronicled at

Partnerships and innovation focus upon increasing opportunities for Metro Tech students. For example, the Lunch & Learn program is 10-week opportunity for students to eat lunch and learn life skills. At the end of the session, Tinker Federal Credit Union establishes a savings account with $100 for each L&L "graduate."

Students along with faculty and staff also are fundraising for the foundation. The student-designed and executed Zombie Dash 3K generated so much fun on campus as well as revenue that it is being expanded as an annual event. Students, faculty, and staff also have restaurant nights at places like Johnnie's, a beloved area hamburger restaurant.

One of the Rock Stars of the Metro Tech Foundation

Ruben Aragon received the Don R. Wright Award, explained below. Mr. Aragon was the architect of increased fundraising but more importantly the policy of not hoarding foundation funds. He envisioned the foundation's spending to assist students who needed a hand up in order to finish their education. That need might be a new tire, a utility payment, or other. Mr. Aragon through his leadership and vision has done so much more to change the lives of the Metro Tech students and enhance Metro Tech in general. Bravo!

Ruben Aragon

Don R. Wright Award 

Don Wright was a charter member of the Metro Tech Board of Education. He was a WWII hero and a member of what some call the greatest generation. His war memoirs can be found on display at the Oklahoma Historical Society.  The award is given for outstanding board service to an outgoing member of the Metro Tech Foundation Board of Trustees who exemplified a spirit of  energy, leadership, and commitment to helping make a difference. The past recipients awarded by the foundation have been Tom Hill, Pat Potts, Dick Beshear, Jan Carroll and Barbara Batchelor. 

Foundation Information 

Program Cover & Officials

Agenda & Honorees 

A Little More We Learned

Community Service Participation Initiative

Metro Tech also sponsors a Community Service Participation Initiative through which students, faculty, and staff host blood drives, participate in United Way fundraising efforts, and volunteer for area nonprofits with high community impact. This initiative is one of various learning opportunities.
Billie Smith, community relations/social media specialist for Metro Tech, wrote:
[The Community Service Participation Initiative is] aimed at engaging stakeholders while positively impacting the local, state and national community. Community service projects are built into the curriculum to stimulate a sense of teamwork among employees and students as they choose community service sites and volunteer together, giving teachers the opportunity to connect more with students on a more personal level. Students show citizenship, make a difference and learn the value of giving back as they apply soft skills acquired in the classroom to real-life situations, bringing the Metro Tech Mission to life.    Ret. 5-6-15

Donation of a Car (excerpts from a article)
Metro Tech Executive Officer Matt Campbell lost his wife, Jessica, in a traffic accident.

In December, Campbell announced the donation of his late wife’s car, a 2009 Toyota Corolla, to the Metro Tech Foundation, a nonprofit established to assist students during financial hardship.
The foundation received 67 eligible student applications that were placed into a blind draw. Application criteria included a steady income, valid driver’s license and ability to secure automobile insurance.
Before the winner was announced, Campbell addressed the crowd of students.
“I am also a Metro Tech graduate who had transportation issues getting through school. I know Jessica would want her car to help a student here overcome that struggle,” he said.
The winning student, Samiyah Dungee, a second-year adult cosmetology/nail technician student, works part-time and attends classes at Oklahoma City Community College and Metro Tech. 

Minh Ton
Minh Ton, recipient of the 2014 James D. Branscum Scholarship, spoke at the banquet. Each year the stories of the achievements and drive of all of the honorees are amazing. A former Metro Tech biomed student, Minh is focused upon becoming a dentist. She came to America at age 10. 

People Photos

Jimmy McKinney, Metro Tech Board of Education and president of McKinney Heat & Air, Inc.,; Jennifer McKinney, Jimmy's wife; Elizabeth Richards, Metro Tech Board of Education and attorney and counselor at law, Richards Law Firm; Bob Parrish, associate superintendent of business & operational services and Metro Tech Board of Education treasurer, Metro Tech Centers

Cecilia Robinson, Ed.D., Superintendent of Millwood Schools, and Liz Guerrero-Lee, Community Outreach and Parent Resource Coordinator at Metro Technology Centers. Guerrero-Lee is also a mentor in the Oklahoma ArtScience Prize.

Applause for Cindy Friedemann, chief officer for strategy and market development at Metro Technology Centers! She produces results in a pleasant way.

New MTF Fundraiser - First Golf Tournament


Although we do not advertise for those marketing to mentoring groups, we would be remiss not to mention these cookies on the tables at the fundraising luncheon. Seriously, they melt in one's mouth! These were packaged take-a-ways under tiered individual desserts. Not a cookie was left anywhere. We all looked!

If you have never attended one of the Metro Tech Foundation banquets, you should. We all left feeling proud of Metro Tech, warmed by the students' stories of focus and accomplishment, and satisfied with how our donations are being spent.

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