Dani-Annkay Magulado, an international student at Riverland Community College in Austin, was one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) members named a 2019 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. The honor also comes with a $1,000 scholarship. Phi Theta Kappa is the “premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders.”

Magulado, who graduated from high school in the Philippines, arrived in Southeast Minnesota knowing no one. Her goal: to further her education.

“I came here all alone, and I’m financing my studies all on my own," she said. "I wanted to find the most economical place where I can study. From my research, Riverland has one of the most affordable tuitions in the U.S. They also offer in-state tuition to international students, which is not common. Looking at the demographics as well, it is one of the most diverse student populations among two-year colleges here in the Midwest.”

Magulado connected with Phi Theta Kappa in the fall of 2018. She said, “I was in my fundamentals of speech class … when my instructor, Heidi Schara (a PTK advisor), invited me to join the honor society. I sat in on a couple of their meetings, and I liked their vision and purpose so I joined.”

Magulado quickly connected with PTK and this fall will begin her role as president of the chapter at Riverland. Not one to shy away from leadership, she was also elected regional officer/vice-president for the MN-Kota PTK region.

“Dani is a fantastic choice for this scholarship because she is an ambitious, high-achieving student,” said Suzette Overby, a Riverland Phi Theta Kappa faculty advisor.

After graduation in May, Magulado plans to attend a four-year university and pursue a degree in business with a focus on finance. She hopes to lead a corporation someday and encourage other women to establish themselves as leaders in business. With her tenacity, Magulado is already on a successful path.

Having a ball while helping others

This past spring, just before his 5th birthday, Michael Kohn, of LeRoy, watched a special on NBC highlighting Red Nose Day. The fundraiser, spearheaded by Comic Relief, provides assistance to children living in poverty.

One half of the funding remains in the United States and Puerto Rico while the other half is distributed around the world. In addition to direct donations, the organization sells red noses, a silly prop for supporters to wear. Those profits in turn go directly to help impoverished children.

Watching the images of children in landfills searching for food, Michael turned to his mother, Frankie, and said, “I don’t want kids digging in trash for food.” He followed up with, “I want to give money to that.”

With a birthday party just around the corner, Frankie suggested that friends bring money for Red Nose Day in lieu of gifts. Michael raised $152. And all of his friends at the birthday celebration received the perfect party favor: a red nose. Kids even wore them in the swimming pool!

While Red Nose Day only happens once a year in May, Michael has a little collection box and is continuing to raise funds for the organization. He has big plans. In addition to starting kindergarten, he hopes to become a paleontologist. Michael wants to bring the dinosaurs back to life and make millions of dollars. He said, “All of my money will go to Red Nose Day.”

Frankie said, “He’s a little dude with a big heart.”

Colleen Timimi is a Rochester freelance writer. Seen & Heard highlights local people with interesting stories. Send tips to life@postbulletin.com.

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