We are thrilled to announce our new class of Esperanza Scholars. Selected from several hundred applications and 25 interviewees, these eight students are simply extraordinary. Thanks to the generosity of our Board of Advisors–in particular, star new member Julissa Arce–we were able to award a total of $60,000 in scholarships to the following high school seniors:
- A recent immigrant from Vietnam who has maintained a 4.0 GPA while serving as the sole breadwinner of her family after her father had a stroke and could no longer work. Already a certified pharmacy technician, she aspires to become a UNICEF doctor and plans to attend Virginia Commonwealth University.
- A young man who immigrated from Honduras four years ago on his own and supports himself by working 35 hours a week as a custodian while taking AP classes and serving as captain of his high school soccer team and a member of ROTC. After attending Anne Arundel Community College, this Arce-Aviles Family Scholar plans to become a mechanical engineer.
- A recent immigrant from Panama who is currently enrolled in an advanced curriculum mirroring that of Cambridge University in England. Passionate about politics and particularly immigration reform, he is an intern for Montgomery County Council member Nancy Navarro and president of his high school’s Young Democrats Club. He aspires to become Maryland’s first Latino governor.
- An immigrant from the West African country of Guinea who will graduate at the top of her class with straight A’s in an AP curriculum and has volunteered hundreds of hours at a homeless shelter. An aspiring cardiologist, this Garland-Rojas Family Scholar plans to attend Montgomery College.
- A recent Chinese immigrant who works 50 hours a week managing her family’s restaurant while maintaining a 3.6 GPA. She plans to major in accounting at the University of Virginia at Wise and hopes to one day start her own business.
- A young man who grew up in a rural Bolivian village where education ended at middle school and there was no electricity. After convincing his family to move to a city so that he could continue his education, he immigrated to the United States two years ago and is now getting A’s in IB Math, IB Chemistry, and IB Physics. An aspiring engineer, this Natalia Aragon Scholar plans to attend Virginia Tech.
- An Indian immigrant passionate about politics and economics who has managed a Rockville City Council campaign, won the Economic Challenge State Competition, works 20 hours a week at a check cash depot, and founded the Young Independents Club at his high school, where he is an IB diploma candidate. After attending Montgomery College, this Fred Wang Memorial Scholar hopes to one day start his own micro-finance business.
- A Mexican immigrant who has maintained a 4.5 GPA in an AP curriculum while working 20 hours a week at a restaurant to help support her family. After attending Anne Arundel Community College, this Arce-Aviles Family Scholar plans to become a lawyer who will represent victims of domestic violence.
Each of these students will be paired with mentors in their communities to ensure that they will be able to excel upon arrival at their new colleges and universities.
Keep posted for our next round of scholarships this summer. With the generous support from the District of Columbia Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, The Esperanza Education Fund will launch a scholarship program for GED recipients, awarding at least $20,000 in scholarships.
For now, thank you to all of you who made this class of scholars possible–from the over 50 readers who volunteered their time, to the hundreds of donors who have made these scholarships financially possible. Like our scholars, you are all the best!