Jaime Escatel doesn’t have much trouble coming up with a list of ways his life has been positively affected by the Leo J. Dvorak Memorial Award.
“I no longer have to worry about my financial situation here on campus,” said Escatel, a music education major. “It is my goal to graduate with as little debt as possible. With this scholarship, I have been able to fund and further my education and I am forever grateful.
“I have been able to purchase various materials needed to further my musicianship, pay multiple fees for my teacher certification, and have
been able to attend a few conferences in my field of study.”
In addition to participating in more than a half-dozen music ensembles, Escatel is a member of the Phi Alpha Eta academic honorary organization and served as the treasurer of the Kappa Kappa Psi national band honorary fraternity for the past two years. He’s involved with New Student Programs and has served as secretary of the university’s chapter of NAFME, the National Association for Music Education.
“My career plans are for me to teach for a few years before I pursue a master’s degree,” said Escatel. “I plan to get one in either of the following concentrations, wind conducting to improve myself as a musician or in music education. I also plan to attain the degree: Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Music Education, in hopes that I can be the director of a music education program on a college campus. I also plan to be part of the executive board of NAFME so I can continue advocating for the arts.”
Additionally, Escatel wants to make sure he provides future students opportunity to get the same joy out of music that he’s been able to experience.
“I want them to realize that the fine arts has a powerful and positive influence on the human species,” said Escatel. “Being involved in the fine arts, particularly music, gives many students an advantage over those that do not participate in music and I want my students to be perfect examples of that. My ultimate goal is that they do not become the parents and adults that I have associated with and say ‘Man I wish I stuck with music.’”
Another goal for Escatel is to someday help students in the same way those who help fund scholarships are helping him.
“I would like to tell those who support EIU, whether in spirit or financially, that you are doing more than just investing in us as students,” said Escatel. “You are, in fact, investing in something much bigger — our dreams.
“Your support makes getting through the process of earning our degrees easier because we know you all have our backs. Sometimes just knowing that there are people out there who support the difference we aspire to make in the world is enough to get us through yet another semester. I will forever be grateful for all those who support us and make it possible to proudly be a Panther!”