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Meet The Buddytruk Madness Final Four

Now that we have our Buddytruk Madness Final Four and our photo contest is coming to an end this week, we wanted to get to know more about our contestants. We wanted to provide them with a chance to tell you why each one of them deserves to win the Buddytruk Madness Photo Contest. Our final four are an awesome bunch of sharp minds that are on their way to make a huge impact on their communities. Without further ado, meet the Buddytruk Final Four:

  • NICOLE MURRAY is a Senior majoring in the Bachelor of Arts in Music at DePaul University.
  • AUSTIN REID is a Sophomore majoring in Business at Glendale Community College.
  • LIEZEL MANALO is a Junior majoring in Linguistics at UCLA.
  • MARIA BARRANCO is a Sophomore majoring in Criminal justice at Glendale Community College.

BUDDYTRUK: What do you like the most about college?

NICOLE: I loved meeting other musicians like me, especially those who appreciated the art of music but are able to realize that it’s important to develop skills outside the music school, like having a job and creating ties with others.

AUSTIN: My favorite part of college is becoming acquainted and making lifelong friends with people of different cultures, ethnicities, and philosophies.  It’s so neat being able to choose friends from such a broad smorgasbord of people. I have found that I learn just as much from them as I do from my professors.

LIEZEL: My absolute favorite thing about college is the opportunity to meet amazing new people from all over the world, to speak earnestly with those people in a truly intellectual environment, and to share with those people incredibly wild experiences.

MARIA: College it self is a magnificent place to find your self within its melting pot. You have an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. What I like most about college is that through the process you start developing a understanding that “you” have the ability to make in impact in your career choice.

MARIA BARRANCO-Buddytruk Madness
MARIA BARRANCO is a Sophomore majoring in Criminal justice at Glendale Community College.

BUDDYTRUK: What major are you studying and why did you choose that major?

NICOLE: I’m a Bachelor of Arts in Music major and my instrument is piano. I intended to pursue a piano performance degree but found that the BA program suited me much better – I was able to pursue other interests, like German, which I’ve studied since middle school. The BA program allowed me to still focus on my love of music and piano, but not suffocate me with it by relentlessly practicing and never seeing the world outside of a practice room.

AUSTIN: I am a business major because I didn’t want to limit myself to one field such as nursing or accounting. You can branch off into a variety of different career paths with business if you do it right And I like that.

LIEZEL: I’m a Linguistics major because I find the innate phonological and grammatical structures of language fascinating! Okay seriously, no one ever taught you silly things like why the “s” at the beginning of “stop” is different from the “s” that sounds like a “z” at the end of “toys”. Yet, you know it anyway cause your brain kinda just picked the rule up on its own. That’s craaazy. End geekout.

MARIA: My major is Criminal Justice, I’m aiming towards becoming a social worker or a juvenile probation officer. Everyone has a mission, mine just happens to be speaking out for those whose voices aren’t heard and are victims of society.

LIEZEL MANALO-Buddytruk Madness
LIEZEL MANALO is a Junior majoring in Linguistics at UCLA.

BUDDYTRUK: Why do you think you deserve to win the Buddytruk Madness Photo Contest?NICOLE: Whenever I tell people I’m a music major, I can read the skepticism and surprise in people’s reactions: “what kind of job do you want to get with that degree?” In addition to being a full time college student, I work two jobs, do regular modeling gigs and exercise daily. People truly don’t understand now hard music majors have to work every day in comparison to other majors and degrees. The fact that I decided to pursue the only thing that’s ever given me happiness and motivation is something that people doubt only pushes me more to prove them wrong, to prove that artists and musicians in particular can be successful and don’t have to be stuck working a 9-5 desk job that they hate just to make ends meet. I deserve to win this contest because as a pianist and a music major, I represent all the other people who work so hard to make their dreams come true instead of taking the traditional and safe route of pursuing a business or communications degree.

AUSTIN: I think I deserve to win the Buddytruk contest because I spent a considerable amount of time & thought into my photo.  Also the scholarship would help me when I transfer to University. Buddytruk seems pretty awesome by the way…I kinda wanna be an employee haha.

LIEZEL: This year I applied to study abroad for 10 weeks in Kyoto, Japan through a program hosted by another UC. Two weeks prior to the program, I had found out that that school’s financial aid office was not giving me the amount of aid I anticipated (despite being advised that I would get what I do at my home campus). Distraught, I couldn’t even consider dropping from the program because it would be even more costly to do so (due to contracts signed, application costs, etc). My last option was to take out additional loans, burning a hole in both me and my family’s pockets. Yet among it all, my many friends and family supported me; encouraged me saying that no matter what, achieving my dream of study abroad would be an ultimately worthwhile experience.

Fast forward to today, I have officially been in Kyoto, Japan for one whole week now. I am yearning to win this Buddytruk scholarship (who by the way, totally helped me move a couch into my apartment early Fall!) so as to alleviate the cost of my loans. I, and the few hundred supporters I reached out to like my entry, believe I deserve to win!

MARIA: Entering this contest has motivated me to be spontaneous, which is why I know deserve to walk away with the winning title Buddytruk Madness Champion. Wining would be the cherry on top but just by getting my picture selected it was a victorious moment. I’ve got great ideas and the prize would come in handy.

Nicole Murray-Buddytruk Madness
NICOLE MURRAY is a Senior majoring in the Bachelor of Arts in Music at DePaul University.

BUDDYTRUK: Any plans post-college?

NICOLE: I’m in the process of applying to the piano bar Howl at the Moon. The last i heard, corporate plans to start training me! It’s up in the air as to where I’ll be located out of their 12 locations nationwide, but it doesn’t matter to me. All that matters is that I’ll be paid to sing and play piano, something I only dreamed of being able to do right out of college.

AUSTIN: Aside from the obvious post-college plan of academic and corporate success, I would like to travel to Spain for a Summer and immerse myself in their culture, maybe learn Spanish.

LIEZEL: I’m hoping to gather more experience in my field, possibly even research, before applying to graduate school. But can’t forget about those loans!

MARIA: I’ve always had the curiosity to explore. My dream is to study abroad but my status as a undocumented student limits my opportunities. My home is where my heart is. For now I’m planning on transferring to Cal State LA or Long Beach.

Austin Reid-Buddytruk Madness
AUSTIN REID is a Sophomore majoring in Business at Glendale Community College.

Now that you have finally gotten a chance to meet these awesome four contestants, it’s up to you to decide who has the winning photo! The winner will be our Buddytruk Madness Champion and receive $1,000 from Buddytruk! Our winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015.

Vote now: The Buddytruk Madness Final Four

CJ Johnson

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