Two DMACC Students Honored with Mary E. Campos Scholarship

Posted 4/24/2020

​​​​​Scholarship Named After Iowa Civil Rights Leader

A group of 17 students have been named 2020 recipients of the Mary E. Campos Scholarship, which honors the work of longtime Iowa Civil Rights Leader Mary E. Campos.

The annual scholarship program is administered by Al Éxito. Recipients are traditionally recognized during the Mary E. Campos Brunch, which was cancelled this spring due to COVID-19. 

Fundraising for the scholarship program occurs each year in conjunction with the Mary E. Campos Luncheon. DMACC was the major sponsor for the fall 2019 luncheon, which was hosted on the DMACC Ankeny Campus.

“Al Éxito is so grateful for the generous support from Des Moines Area Community College for the Mary E Campos Scholarship fund," said Dawn Martinez Oropeza, Al Éxito Executive Director. “DMACC's President Denson and staff exemplify the traits that Mary E. Campos embodies and our scholarship recipients demonstrated for the award: Civic engagement that makes a difference in the lives of their community."

Ahmed Agyeman, Director of Community and Global Engagement at DMACC, extended the College's congratulations and thanks as well.

“Congratulations to our Mary E. Campos Scholars," Agyeman said. “We are looking forward to welcoming our students to the DMACC family. Thank you to Al Éxito for working with DMACC as a community partner."

The Mary E. Campus Scholarship Program is dedicated to helping Latino youth access higher education, with a focus on students who would not have been able to do so without financial assistance. The scholarship is awarded to Al Éxito participants from across the state whose dream is to obtain an education and to give back to their community. Al Éxito currently serves more than 400 high school students throughout Iowa with programming that builds the leadership potential of Latino youth through college preparation, career development, civic engagement, family support and celebration of culture.

All Iowa high school seniors and Al Éxito alumni are eligible for the scholarship, which accepts applications beginning in mid-December each year. This year, two students who will be attending DMACC received Mary E. Campos Scholarship.  

  • Natalia Guerrero (photo on left) who lives in Des Moines and attends Des Moines North High School. She will be attending DMACC in the fall to study photography.

  • Waldina Villaneuva who lives in Clarion and attends Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School. Villaneuva will be attending DMACC in the fall to pursue a paralegal degree.

"I am proud to attend DMACC," Guerrero said. “I know it will not be easy, but I am excited to move closer to my goals. I found my passion for photography and I have aspirations of traveling the world as a professional photographer. I will be the first person in my family to receive a college education, and I know that will make a huge difference in my own life and the life of my family." 

Villaneuva said she is also excited to be attending DMACC.

"After visiting DMACC, I really liked the atmosphere and I was happy to learn they had the major I was interested in," Villaneu​va said. “It also made me happy to see how much diversity there is among the students and all of the opportunities they have for students." 

Campos was the first Latino inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. In August of 2017, she received the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Edward S. Allen Award. She has also earned the Ohtli Award, the highest honor given from the Mexican Government to a Mexican descendent.  

Campos has served on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the League for United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and was one of the founders of the National Black and Brown Forum.

To learn more about the Mary E. Campos Scholarship Fund, visit ​

For more information, contact: Ahmed Agyeman, (515) 964-6271, or Dawn Martinez Oropeza, (515) 480-0904 ​​​​

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