Madisonville Community College student Ramon Santa Cruz has been awarded the Stan Lewis Scholarship in the amount of $700 for the spring 2016 semester. The scholarship is awarded to an academically-talented minority student in memory of Stan Lewis, the first African American faculty member at Madisonville Community College. Mr. Lewis was dedicated to meeting the needs of MCC students for over 28 years by providing genuine kindness, concern, and the best possible service to all.

Santa Cruz is completing coursework towards an Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He anticipates graduating in fall 2017 and transferring to the Murray State University-Madisonville Regional Campus to continue his education towards a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Santa Cruz shared his decision to enroll in MCC s Human Services program, I struggled with addiction and alcoholism; it runs in my family. Once I had my son, it was time to make a change. I ve been clean and sober for about 18 months now just doing my work. Hopefully, I can help somebody else. What stood out to me is the people who have helped me. I knew this was something I had to do. He began his college career as an engineering major more than 20 years ago on a full ROTC scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin. Juggling ROTC responsibilities and academics proved challenging so he opted to take some time off from school. As the years passed and he was successful in the restaurant industry, Santa Cruz found it was time to get serious about his career after relocating to Madisonville for his wife s teaching position and to be closer to her family in Russellville.

The late Stan Lewis is fondly remembered for helping out students, sometimes out of his own pocket. Santa Cruz stated, It s amazing and all about giving back. It s sort of what the human services program is for me. A lot of people told me when I got sober that a part of getting sober is giving back to someone else. That s what this (being a Stan Lewis scholarship recipient) means to me.

Santa Cruz lives in Madisonville with his spouse, Kacy, and their 2-year old son, Liam.