University Crossroads honors four volunteers with national service awards

President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes those who improve their communities

Thursday, Sep 09, 2021 • Elizabeth Couch : Contact

From left, Margie Aguilar, Jorge Baldor, Toska Medlock Lee and Roland Parrish.

The University of Texas at Arlington’s University Crossroads outreach and community engagement program has selected four North Texas community leaders, including a UTA alumna, to receive the 2021 President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) silver medallion.

Recipients of the national honor are:

  • Toska Medlock Lee (’90 BA, Communication), Owner, The Myriad Group & Co. Lee’s service and engagement activities include community building (through Project Unity), voter and education awareness, COVID-19 relief through food giveaways and school drives, and breaking barriers for the underserved.
  • Margie Aguilar, CEO and Company Lead, ISP Creative Aguilar serves and engages with the community in the areas of female entrepreneurship, empowerment, self-care and leadership.
  • Jorge Baldor, Entrepreneur and Founder, Mercado369 Baldor’s service and engagement efforts focus on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and underrepresented students, employment and internships, Latino arts, entrepreneurship, homelessness (through After8ToEducate) and college readiness.
  • Roland Parrish, President & CEO, Parrish Restaurants Ltd. Parrish’s service and engagement interests include entrepreneurship, marketable skills, viable internships, scholarships and service over self.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the PVSA to recognize the important role volunteers play in America’s strength and national identity. The award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities across the nation and inspires those around them to take action.

“This year’s honorees represent entrepreneurs who are committed to civic leadership and to improving our communities,” said Michele Bobadilla, UTA’s senior associate vice president for outreach and community engagement and assistant provost for Hispanic student success. “As legacy builders and change agents for good, they are transforming the North Texas landscape while breaking barriers and opening doors of opportunity for future generations.”

Led by AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, the PVSA program allows certifying organizations such as UTA’s University Crossroads to recognize their most exceptional volunteers. It has continued under each U.S. presidential administration since 2003, honoring those who use their time and talents to address tough challenges facing their communities.

University Crossroads, founded and directed by Bobadilla, collaborates with more than 100 partners to provide access to and success in higher education through a variety of academic and enrichment opportunities. Last year, it served more than 41,500 students in grades 6-12. In 2020, the program was named one of five national finalists in the community-based organization category for the prestigious Examples of Excelencia.

Lee, Aguilar, Baldor and Parrish will receive their silver medallions during a virtual celebration on Sept. 23.


-Written by Mark Permenter, University Advancement