Sophomore receives the Visionary Leadership Scholarship

Line Ydi Recinos was awarded the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Visionary Leader Scholarship at Lamar
Line Ydi Recinos
Line Ydi Recinos, Dr. John Bello-Ogunu and Recinos' grandparents
 University’s celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jan. 21.

The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence sponsored the event and awarded the scholarship to Recinos for carrying on Dr. King’s “virtues and dream forward for inclusiveness, global vision and service to the institution and the greater community.”

Recinos is a sophomore majoring in biology with dreams of pursuing a career in medicine. She hopes to be a pediatrician. Recinos is a Reaud Honors College student with a 3.66 grade point average. She is active on campus as a member of the American Medical Student Association and MEDLIFE. Off campus, Recinos volunteers in the medical field in both a medical capacity and as a translator or patients who cannot communicate with medical professionals due to a language barrier.

“I believe that if Dr. King was alive today his message would continue to be ‘I have a dream’,” said Recinos, in her acceptance speech. “My dream personally is to become a doctor. It has been my dream since I was 8 years old, but being Hispanic, people just look at me and assume that I can’t do it.”

Recinos said receiving the scholarship proves her ethnicity does not dictate her future.

Line Ydi with Wagner
Dr. Bert Wagner presents the scholarship to Line Ydi Recinos.
“Having this scholarship is important to me because it shows that people actually see me as more than just being Hispanic and that I do bring something to the table and that maybe one day I will become a doctor.”

Recinos was chosen for the scholarship based on an application and an essay where she addressed some of her personal struggles.

“I volunteer at a local hospital translating for people with language barriers knowing firsthand what that feels like seeing my own family deal with these things.”

Recinos believes in helping people and serving her community wherever she goes. If she is in the grocery store and overhears or observes someone struggling to communicate, she offers to translate.

“It’s a good feeling knowing I can help even in a small way. My mom always taught us to be friendly and respectful everyone because a simple ‘hello’ is never going to kill you and you never know if that will make someone’s day just a little better and that’s very important to me.”

Quotes from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

If our aspiration to make our nation a “more perfect union” is to become a reality, then we must be prepared to ask the question—What can I do to help heal and unite my divided and broken beloved country during the next 4 years—beginning with my daily encounter with “those who are unlike me” in my neighborhood, at my workplace, in my classroom, in my dormitory, and yes, even in my church? And then, make sincere effort to act; to purposefully make a meaningful difference in the lives of your fellow human beings who are different from you—racially, ethnically, politically, and in many other ways. Ladies and gentlemen, anything short of that, will make our pursuit of a more perfect union just “a mere dream.”

– Dr. John O. Bello-Ogunu, Sr., vice president, Global Diversity, Inclusion, & Intercultural Affairs

I was asked to say a few words about what Dr. King meant to me and chose to direct my words to his famous, ‘I Have A Dream’ speech and what it means to me. The Purpose of his great speech was to manifest what Dr. King dreamed of - a day where people of all races could come together without tension. He was well aware that his dream could not happen overnight, so he entrusted his dream to the future, to us – our grandparents, parents, ourselves and our children. Every year around this time I am reminded that no matter how big the dream, with immense passion and boldness the idea will be passed on and shall never fade. We must continue to inspire our youth to not only carry on his mission, but to never bow in the face of hate.

- Trenton Holden, senior film major and public relations chair of the NAACP student chapter at LU.

Lamar University, like so many other institutions of higher education, has reaped the benefits of Dr. King’s dream. Today, we celebrate work that the Office of Global Diversity is doing on our campus to create a culture of collective responsibility and accountability. Also, the President’s Task force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is moving the institution forward. In campus climate, plays a pivotal role in promoting respect for cross-cultural awareness on campus and the classroom, whether it is face to face or online. Faculty, staff and students are raising awareness of inequities and microaggressions.  The faculty are discussing how inequities manifest in their disciplines and how these can be addressed by the faculty and students. In underserved minority student success, retention and completion at Lamar University, there is a notable growth but we must do more. There are reasons to celebrate. This event today is a representation of our collective efforts.”

- Dr. Lynn Maurer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences