After reviewing over 440 applications and interviewing 27 finalists, we’re thrilled to announce this year’s ten Esperanza Scholars! Thanks to our Board of Advisors, our corporate and institutional sponsors, and contributors like you, our 2014 scholars will receive a total of $80,000 in college scholarships. This includes $15,000 from our matching gift drive. Special thanks to our Board of Advisors for sponsoring the match–and to all of you who participated!
Here are their stories:
- A Nigerian immigrant who trained as a classical vocalist at Boston University, performed in front of President Obama as part of the Washington Youth Choir, served as president of her senior class, and founded her school’s international club. This Annie Scott Memorial Scholar plans to study Music Education and Music Performance at the University of Maryland College Park.
- A Mongolian immigrant who was valedictorian of her class, revived her school’s Red Cross Club, and received a letter of gratitude from the Mongolian Parliament for collecting coats for the needy, all while working two jobs and taking care of her younger sister after school. She plans to study business and education at James Madison University.
- A recent immigrant who was forced to abandon his medical studies in El Salvador when he lost his mother to cancer. After coming to the United States, he returned to high school, maintaining a 3.75 GPA while working full-time at a restaurant, where he started as a dishwasher and earned promotions to management positions within eight months. He plans to study international business at Northern Virginia Community College.
- An immigrant from El Salvador who worked full-time while attending high school so that he could send money back home to help his two younger siblings continue their educations. As a member of his school’s Student Advisory Board, he organized students to urge the Arlington School Board not to shut down his school. This Campbell-Seltz Scholar plans to study secondary education at Northern Virginia Community College.
- An immigrant from Kazakhstan who took a full load of college-level courses while in high school and maintained a 4.2 GPA while working part-time at a supermarket. An aspiring aerospace engineer, he will attend the University of Alabama.
- A recent immigrant from El Salvador who joined her mother in the United States without any knowledge of English and earned an A in AP English just two years later. She also built three robots as a member of her high school robotics team. Inspired by how technology enabled her to talk to her mother when her mother worked in the United States while she remained in El Salvador, she plans to study computer engineering at the University of the District of Columbia.
- An immigrant from El Salvador who earned the rank of Eagle Scout in only three-and-a-half years while maintaining a 3.7 GPA, serving as co-captain of the tennis team, and working part-time. Encouraged by hospital staff who expressed amazement at how well he had treated a friend’s machete wound with a first-aid kit that his uncle had given to him when he was a child, this JBG Scholar plans to study nursing at Northern Virginia Community College.
- A Mexican immigrant who won first place in the regional science fair in Environmental Science, started her high school’s Latino club, and worked for two local nonprofits, one that advocates for immigrants and one that develops green space for youth across the city. She plans to study civil engineering at the University of the District of Columbia.
- The son of Portuguese immigrants who earned straight A’s throughout high school, served as a Boy Scout, and ran on his high school track team. A member of his school’s STEM magnet program, he plans to study engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.
- An immigrant from Nepal who ranked in the top 2% of her class, took math and science classes at a local college through her high school’s prestigious Governor’s School program, served as a leader on her school’s robotics team, and participated in an internship program for women in engineering. This Fred Wang Memorial Scholar plans to study engineering at Virginia Tech.