After reviewing a record 502 applications and interviewing 29 finalists, we are thrilled to announce this year’s seven Esperanza Scholars! Thanks to our Board of Advisors, our corporate and institutional sponsors, and contributors like YOU, our 2015 scholars will receive a total of $80,000 in college scholarships. Our scholars hail from six different countries – from Vietnam to Cameroon to El Salvador – and include salutatorians, captains of varsity sports teams, and dedicated community servants. They have overcome so much to be where they are today.
Here are their stories:
- A Portuguese immigrant who worked throughout high school as well as served as student council president and won the state of Virginia DECA competition. In her senior year, she had mono for several months, but maintained a 4.0 GPA, remained a member of the varsity volleyball team, and worked at a winery and at the Fauquier County Department of Economic Development. She plans to study economics at the University of Virginia.
- A refugee from Cameroon whose family fled because of his father’s membership in the country’s opposition party. While his father was in a conference in the United States, his mother was stabbed. In less than two years in the United States, he has taken several AP classes, including AP Literature, and became captain of his of his high school tennis team. He plans to study actuarial science at Temple University.
- An immigrant from El Salvador who when she lost her sister at age 12, helped take care of her younger brother and stabilize her family. In middle school, she was the only girl to join the school mathematics team. In high school, she was salutatorian of her class, took three college classes, and led her team to nationals on National History Day twice. This Fred Wang Memorial Scholar plans to major in mathematics at the University of the District of Columbia.
- An Indian immigrant who was the president of her school’s Mock Trial team, winning multiple awards for her performance as an attorney and a witness in the CLREP program at the state level. She is the Salutatorian and the treasurer of both the National and Spanish honor Society. She will matriculate at theUniversity of Maryland, College Park, where she plans to major in biomedical engineering with the hopes of one day becoming a patent attorney.
- An immigrant from El Salvador who was in the top 1% of her class, top 5% of the entire county, and participated in the prestigious Virginia French Governor’s school. Having a deaf brother, she was determined to learn sign language and became a member of her school’s American Sign Language club. This Campbell-Seltz Scholar will be studying at Northern Virginia Community College and aspires to become a doctor.
- A Vietnamese immigrant who in seven years in the United States attended seven different schools. During this period, she maintained Straight As, worked part time, and became captain of the school tennis team. She plans to study biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
- An immigrant from Bangladesh who worked 30 hours a week during high school to save enough money to pay for the first year of college while still maintaining a 4.0 GPA at school. Committed to his Bangladeshi community, he has participated in organizing several events including a 200+ person one-day cricket tournament. He plans to study computer science at George Mason University.