The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Communications senior awarded Ajay Castro Scholarship for Re-entering Women

Correction: Grace Newton’s most recent employment was as public information officer for the Alamo Colleges, not publications coordinator for the Center for Health Policy Development.

By Mesquite Staff

Communications senior Grace Newton was awarded the 2012 San Antonio Professional Chapter of Women in Communications Ajay Castro Scholarship for Re-Entering Women. Newton was notified Tuesday she will receive the full scholarship amount of  $2,000.

The Ajay Castro Scholarship for Re-Entering Women is open to undergraduate students currently enrolled in or accepted by a Bexar County higher education institution following a minimum three-year lapse since graduation from high school or attending college, according to the Association of Women in Communications website. Applicants must plan to pursue a degree in a communications-related field.

The scholarship was established in 1989, in honor of longtime Women in Communications member Ajay Castro. The scholarship is managed by the San Antonio Area Foundation and awarded annually. The 2011 scholarship was awarded to Erin Kidder, a student attending the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“The committee was very impressed with her application,” said Ashley Festa, student liaison and AWC board member.

Newton, 46, said receiving the scholarship is an honor and blessing for herself and her family. Newton has two stepsons, ages 21 and 16, a 17-year-old son, and a 15-year-old daughter.

“This financial assistance will allow me to achieve my dream of earning my bachelor’s degree in communications.  I am so grateful to the Association of Women in Communications and organizations like them who dedicate themselves to helping others,” she said.

A 1983 graduate of East Central High School, Newton has 20 years experience in the public relations industry, most recently as a publications coordinator for the Center for Health Policy Development in San Antonio and as a public information officer for the Alamo Colleges.

“Making the decision to return to school at this stage in my life was not an easy one. I had fears of creating a tremendous financial burden on my family, fears of not fitting in, and of course, fears of failure. “

Newton said with the support of family, professors and fellow classmates at Texas A&M–San Antonio, those fears have been removed.

“My advice to anyone who is considering doing the same — it’s okay to be fearful, but don’t let that fear stand in the way of achieving your dreams. There are resources out there.”

Newton plans to graduate from A&M-San Antonio with a BA in communications-journalism and a minor in sociology in December 2012 and says she will return to the public relations industry.

An awards ceremony will be held June 22 at The Westin Riverwalk, located at 420 W. Market St. For more information, visit

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