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Lena Rios Memorial Scholarship


J.D. Rios received a Bachelor of Education degree in 1983 in the field of Social Sciences from Emporia State University. As a student he participated in Associated Student Government, worked as a resident assistant, and served in Black Student Union in the role of President. In 1993 he received a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. J.D. has played an active role in advancing the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools as the talent acquisition and recruiting manager and he holds a deep passion for education. J.D. joined the Emporia State University Foundation as a Trustee in 2015. He has also been active as a KCK Community College Trustee, served on the Hispanic Advisory Board for UMKC and served as an Alumni Board Member for UMKC. J.D. is also a board member of El Centro, the largest Hispanic serving non-profit in Kansas City Kansas and Johnson County. J.D.’s interests are in human/civil rights and politics. Through this scholarship J.D. wants to share his financial resources to impact the lives of students and to honor his mother.

Scholarship Criteria

  1. Students who have graduated from a high school in Wyandotte County, Kansas; and
  2. Students who share the donor’s passion for advancing diversity and inclusion at ESU.
  3. Incoming or current Undergraduate student at ESU
  4. Complete application and answer the questions


  1. Why is diversity and inclusion important?
  2. How do you plan to help with diversity and inclusion at ESU?

Scholarship Application: