Two DMACC students honored with Mary E. Campos Scholarship


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 long-time 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 Al Éxito Executive Director, Dawn Martinez Oropeza. “DMACC’s President Denson and staff exemplifies 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.”

“Congratulations to our Mary E. Campos Scholars,” said Ahmed Agyeman, Director of Community and Global Engagement at DMACC.  “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 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,’” said Guerrero. “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,” said Villaneuva. “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 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



Des Moines Area Community College, a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of Iowans, is committed to the lifelong success of its students. Situated in one of America’s most vibrant regions, DMACC offers 200 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 70,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and six learning centers. Thanks to college-wide innovation including Continuous Process Improvement (CPI), new programs and affordable tuition, DMACC continues to experience solid growth. For more information, please visit

About Al Éxito

Al Éxito provides programming that builds the leadership potential of Latino/a youth through college preparation, career development, civic engagement, family support, and celebration of culture. Our vision is to build a better community through Latino excellence. Al Éxito programs are in Belmond, Clarion, Des Moines, Hampton, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Perry, and Tama. The program is free, open to all students, and students can join anytime. 

Facebook Comments