My Time to Shine: Melinda Batey

Melinda Batey, was one of our first year recipients of the Alexander John-Cade Pugh memorial scholarship. One of the few recipients to actually know Alex, Melinda shines as an example of his love for others, his creativity, and his servant’s heart. Her experience after receiving the scholarship has been an inspiring adventure.

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My first degree choice when I graduated high school was photojournalism, but my story wouldn’t be right if it all worked out exactly like it was supposed to.

I spent a few years working toward a photojournalism degree and knowing that I did not feel certain about my future career, left school and moved back home to San Antonio.

I joined the American Red Cross at Fort Sam Houston, and with my skills, un-officially became a photographer for them. Little did I know, Fort Sam Houston is home to a Level 1 Trauma Center, and part of my job was to visit soldiers and their families in the hospital and burn unit. I began to feel a calling toward the medical field.

I spent the next few years studying to apply for nursing school, while working as a server at the Cheesecake Factory. During this time, I pushed myself to achieve my goals, including completing a 12-mile Tough Mudder obstacle course, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail, learned to box, bought myself a dream trip to the Bahamas, swam with sharks, and went skydiving.

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I had the privilege of being selected to attend the UT Health Science Center San Antonio School of Nursing. My first semester, I was elected Class President and worked together with faculty and students to provide positive changes to the community. When Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast, my class provided disaster relief and medical care to the residents of Rockport.

Finally, after graduation, I accepted a job as a pediatric nurse working at University Hospital, a highly recognized Level 1 trauma center. I love my job, and I love the children that I care for. At home, my stress relief is still writing, which is the reason I was honored with this scholarship a decade ago. 

Ten years goes by faster than you expect, and it is filled with struggle, happiness, loss, laughter, pain and blessings.

My favorite quote that ended up in the 2009 yearbook under my best friend’s name: Life is not a problem to be solved, but rather a mystery to be lived. – Soren Kierkeggard

My Time to Shine: Allison Freeman

On behalf of The Alexander John-Cade Pugh Scholarship Fund, we are proud to announce our "My Time to Shine" recipient spotlight. We are fortunate to know so many bright and creative minds through the scholarship over the years and are proud to see where they are now. We are starting this spotlight off with Ms. Allison Freeman. Allison was our recipient in 2013 and is now pursuing her dream of becoming an artist, graphic designer, and animator. To say we were impressed with her response when reaching out to her is an understatement. Allison is a content creator and entrepreneur in the truest sense. Below, is the information given to us by Allison illustrating her wonderful journey so far:

I graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco in May of 2017. 

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I worked with SOBA Productions on "Sonder" an animated short film for 2 years, we just wrapped in May of 2018. The film is about loss and recovery and how we struggle to move on. The film is visually stunning and groundbreaking. We used the game engine Unity to render in real time, which hasn't been done before. I worked as a production coordinator for the animation, fix animation, rigging, visual effects, and lighting departments. As a production coordinator, it was my job to make sure all departments were organized and running smoothly. Every week I scheduled meetings, made sure everyone was submitting work on time and that the department was progressing forward and meeting our deadlines. There were definitely challenges because our entire crew and production were done online. People from all over the world were working on this film. We would have our video chat meetings at crazy times of the night or morning so that our crew members in Taiwan, Europe, or other parts of the world could join us. It was an amazing crew to be a part of and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together. We had our wrap party in May in San Francisco which was a blast, it was so fun to see everyone in person and dressed so fancy. We were all used to seeing each other in PJs through a webcam. Our film "Sonder" is now traveling the world through film festivals in California, Australia, Korea, Scotland, and New York, just to name a few. You can watch the trailer online at http://www.sondershortfilm.com/ the film will be released publicly online sometime next year. We hope that it will be nominated for an Oscar (fingers crossed!) we shall see. I now officially have my own IMDB page for being credited on this film which is probably not that exciting but I have been really excited about it. It was an amazing experience to be a part of.

Allison's creative team at the premier of their film  Sonder  (2018).

Allison's creative team at the premier of their film Sonder (2018).

 

I remember for the Alexander John-Cade Pugh Memorial Scholarship I wrote and illustrated a children's book. I now have illustrated a book that has been published and is available on amazon. Jennifer Zimmerle and Margaret Wortham wrote the children's novella "Big Bend is Not in London" and I illustrated 25 chapter illustrations and the cover art. The book is an adventure mystery about two Junior Ranger's first trip to Big Bend National Park and the search for a trash bandit. A Grand Canyon sequel is in the works and we will also be publishing other children's books in the near future.

 https://majikpublications.wixsite.com/majik/bigbendisnotinlondon

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Ibex Design Studio is my graphic design company that creates logos, branding, and promotional materials. I was just recently commissioned to re-brand a company for their 25th year anniversary. When branding a company you need to be able to create a visual identity that really represents who they are and what they do. We were really happy with the way their logo turned out, it is very modern and bold. I love running my own business. Being able to help others visualize the look of their own business is the best part.

www.ibexdesignstudio.com

 

I am also working on a new collection of paintings for the "Art in the Vineyard" art show and sale. The show will be November 10th at Blue Lotus Winery in Seguin from 12 pm to 5 pm. I am so excited about my new collection of work, I don't want to spoil the surprise but you can follow my Instagram or Facebook page, Allison Freeman Art. I will be posting updates and sneak peaks as it gets closer.

https://www.instagram.com/allisonfreemanart/

https://www.facebook.com/allisonfreemanart/

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I am so thankful for your scholarship and family, it has such a positive impact on our community. It has helped me get where I am today, getting my degree and being able to run my own businesses. Thank you so so much!