Deltarado Days king, queen earn scholarships

By Pat Sunderland


The Delta Area Chamber of Commerce has established the tradition of awarding scholarships to two Delta High School graduates who are then named Deltarado Days king and queen. This year's recipients are Uyen Nguyen and Dario Melgoza. They will be crowned at Cleland Park Saturday at about 11 a.m. They'll also be introduced at the farmer rancher luncheon, along with Virginia Shea, the parade grand marshal. Uyen and Dario are also looking forward to participating in the parade and attending the rodeo Saturday night.

Uyen is the daughter of Luu Nguyen and Hong Bui. She will be the first in her family to attend college, and is looking forward to attending the University of Colorado Denver. She dreams of becoming an ER physician to bring constructive change and create a path to the "good life," not only for herself but also for others.

At Delta High School, Uyen was active in the Visual Art Club, Partners youth mentoring and varsity tennis. She embraced rigorous Advanced Placement courses and concurrent enrollment, maintaining a 4.0 GPA each semester. In addition to academic and extrarcurricular activities at DHS, she volunteered with the Delta County Ambulance District to develop an understanding of the field of emergency medicine.

"After schooling and residency, I would like to come back to be close to my family as they live and work in Delta," she says. "I want to continue to give back to those who helped me succeed in all my career choices."

With the help of adult mentors, Uyen created a campaign called "Succeed Without Weed," to reduce and prevent delinquency and substance abuse in teenagers. She plans to become an adult mentor for Partners, so she can continue helping youth make positive changes. She would also like to help expand the homeless shelter and food bank program in Delta County to help individuals in need of better living conditions, leading to healthier lifestyles.

Dario Melgoza is also considering a career in the health care industry, and plans to attend the University of Northern Colorado in pursuit of that goal.

At DHS, he played baseball, basketball, soccer and tennis. He was a captain of the tennis team. He was involved in Leo Club and HOSA, an international organization for future health professionals. One of his most meaningful activities was serving as a mentor through College For Every Student, or CFES.

"I never imagined that I actually might help a young elementary student while being in high school myself," he wrote for a scholarship essay. "As a mentor I visit one of the Delta area elementary schools every week and spend time with my mentee. A mentee is a young student who needs a stable role model in his or her life. Usually, the elementary students chosen for this program are at risk of not succeeding in school without extra support from others.

"This program is not only rewarding to the mentee, but as a mentor I am made aware of the difference I make in someone's life and it has surprised me that I can learn from a younger person. This opportunity has furthermore taught me how impressionable younger students are and it makes me pay extra attention to try to be a positive influence for them. At the same time I count my blessings, because I realize how fortunate I have been throughout my life. I am thankful for being in the position of sharing my experiences and guidance I received as a young child."