Medalist Scholars™ Awardees

Medalist Scholars™

While growing up, Michael Otule didn’t have the same story as other boys his age. He didn’t join any sports team nor did anything physical for the fear of getting hurt and not being able to take care of his family. Being the eldest of 3 boys and having a single mother meant he was left with a lot of responsibilities. But in the hopes of gaining friends outside the family and something that was still safe, he joined the marching band while his brothers played football and basketball. Most of his Middle school and all his High school career was full of band. It wasn’t until college, or what he liked to call “the fresh taste of freedom”, he decided to explore his potential in many areas. But by the time he truly discovered he had the chance to do whatever he put his mind to, he was graduating. Time flies when you do a lot of thinking and not enough doing. So, fresh out of college, he made a promise to himself that would find who Michael Otule is meant to be, and not who people think “he” is or should be – that’s when he found himself in the gym.

The gym gave Michael that sense of freedom he felt when he first started college. He didn’t have to worry about anyone else or what anybody thought. Win or fail, it was all on him. This feeling later became a passion when he started to see his body react well to the workouts. He took his passion for working out to greater heights by deciding to become a Men’s Physique bodybuilding competitor.  In 2015, he competed at the NPC Branch Warren Classic and won both his class and overall, thus becoming a nationally qualified Men’s Physique Athlete.

Michael upped the ante by deciding to become a Professional Men’s Physique Athlete. He experienced many disappointments in this journey, but he pressed on forward with his mission to achieve his greater self. On September 2018, he achieved this goal and debuted in his first Men’s Physique Pro show in March 2019; this is 9 years and 4 months later since he began his journey to discover his true potential.

What makes Otule even more unique is his dedication to use his athletic and professional endeavors to inspire the younger generation to pursue their highest potential in physical and intellectual abilities. Michael earned his MBA while still maintaining a demanding professional career as a Business Analyst, as well as a rigorous training and competitive schedule. Moreover, he maintains a strictly natural bodybuilding training regimen. Though going natural my take a little longer to reach his goals to compete on the Olympia stage and pursue a fruitful modeling/acting career, he is determined to maintain his overall health and set the best example to those that look up to him.

Michael currently works a full-time Business Analyst and recently launched a clothing line business. He also donates his time to organizations and initiatives that are dedicated to community service and raising leaders of tomorrow.

Jeremy Anato-Mensah is a former collegiate athlete who competed in the 100m and 200m sprints. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics, he continued to compete in local meets around Texas before starting a career as a teacher and volunteer coach.

During this time, Jeremy taught for six years in Alief ISD as a math teacher and was a volunteer coach for several athletic teams around the city of Houston (football and track). Following his six-year stint as a teacher, he attended Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated in May 2019 with a juris doctor degree and plans to practice corporate law and intellectual property law.

In addition to his exploits on the track and in the classroom, Jeremy is actively engaged in educating voters to be aware of local and national political issues. In his capacity as community service chair of Voice Your Vote, he has organized several community events including town hall meetings and free youth concerts.

Buck Rogers is a 28-year veteran of the Bryan Police Department, with 19 years on the SWAT Team. During his tenure with Bryan PD, Buck served the Texas Tactical Police Officers Association (TTPOA) for more than ten years as the Training Coordinator and SWAT Competition Coordinator. He also coordinated the SWAT Commander courses for TTPOA with National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) and was an adjunct instructor for the NTOA Command College. Buck recently joined NTOA as the Training Program Manager to manages the NOTA Academy, and play an instrumental role in the implementation of  NTOA’s tactical law enforcement training and education curricula.

In addition to his remarkable career in law enforcement, Buck served five years in the United States Marine Corps and three years in the Texas Army National Guard Co G 143rd Airborne/Ranger LRRS. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and completed Leadership Command College in 2010 and the FBI National Academy Session 246. He also earned a Masters’ Certificate in Homeland Security (2012) from the Bush School of Government and a Masters’ Certificate in Criminal Justice (2011) from the University of Virginia. He is a certified TCOLE and Firearms Instructor as well as a Rappel Master, as well as a NTOA and Alerrt Active Shooter Instructor.

Buck has been competing in triathlons since 1985 when he participated in his first one while stationed in Okinawa, Japan in the United States Marine Corps. He has also enjoyed riding in endurance gravel bike rides and other adventure races such as Tough Mudders and the Spartan Races. He has been married to his wife Melanie for 30 years, and they have four wonderful children.

Kaleb Palacio is a thirteen year-old junior elite gymnast who trains 22+ hours a week while still maintaining 85% or greater average in his academics. Kaleb is constantly challenging himself by setting lofty goals. His medium to long term goals include qualifying for Junior Olympic Nationals, competing in the P&G National Championships, and subsequently compete at the World Championships in 2023 as a US National Team member. Recognizing his tremendous talent alone will not get him there, Kaleb works diligently with his coaches at Above the Bar Gymnastics to set yearly goals and follow a highly regimented training curriculum.

Beyond gymnastics, Kaleb actively engages his coaches and mentors to guide him on how to effectively invest his time and energy in gymnastics, academics and community service for a successful future. He plans to attend college to major in business in pursuit of his ambition to become a successful entrepreneur.

Finally, when he is not training or attending to his education, Kaleb volunteers at his church to feed the homeless and supply blankets in the winter months. He is always grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others.

Kyce Darouiche is a 21 year old collegiate soccer player who plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree. With a passion for medicine, he eventually plans on attending medical school and becoming a physician. Kyce has spent many of his summers conducting different types of scientific research on topics that include Autism and other neurological conditions, cardiovascular cell signaling, and nutrition to prepare him for a medical career that incorporates research. Before attending graduate school, he plans on taking some time to work and volunteer within the health sector so that he can gain even deeper perspective on the field before attending medical school.

Outside of his academic and athletic commitments, Kyce has served as a volunteer coach for several youth soccer teams in his college town. He has also volunteered at the VA Hospital in Houston, assisting a research nurse and cardiologist conducting a clinical trial. During his school breaks, Kyce plans to volunteer with a children’s assessment center in his hometown. He is always trying to make a difference within his community, no matter how big or small.