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Hubert Colangelo Literacy Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Lupe Colangelo
1st winner$534
2nd winner$533
3rd winner$533
Application Deadline
May 31, 2024
Winners Announced
Jun 30, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
Financial Status:
Financial need
Underrepresented Minority
First-generation and/or has at least one immigrant parent

Coming up with the funds necessary to pursue a college degree can be difficult or even impossible for many students.

Learners from families with limited means often receive little parental support when it comes time to pay for college, which is often the case for first-generation learners or students with immigrant parents. Creating more equitable access to educational and professional opportunities requires providing financial aid so that financial circumstances don’t hold students back from their dreams.

This scholarship seeks to support students who are mostly self-funding their education so they have the assistance they need to succeed.

Any high school senior who is an underrepresented minority with financial need may apply for this scholarship if they will be a first-generation college student and/or they have at least one immigrant parent.

To apply, write a short essay telling us about your background, what motivates you to pursue your education, and what you hope to do with your education.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Need
Published December 5, 2023
Essay Topic

Please tell us about your background or family background, your motivations to pursue an education, and what you hope to achieve with this education.

200–300 words

Winning Applications

Gabriela Ramirez-Vasquez
Immokalee High SchoolIMMOKALEE, FL
I grew up spending my many summers traveling from the sandy beaches of Florida, to Georgia’s vast production lands of peaches, to South Carolina’s lukewarm temperatures to Kentucky’s rugged mountains, and finally traveling back to Florida, all in a span of one short summer. My parents would travel to these states not for leisure but in search of work to harvest seasonal crops while my two older siblings and I tagged along, leaving us was not an option. It was clear to me then that people like us weren’t meant for higher education. We were meant to survive, working endlessly from sunrise to sunset to strive in a society. At age 8, I knew that I was destined to be more than a field worker, I was going to become the first generation of my family to pursue a higher education. That this American Dream they were hoping for, wasn’t just a deceiving perception, but rather a reality that I would help make. These past several summers have represented for me boundless months of exploration of my immediate surroundings and taking full advantage of where I am now. In my case what my parents gave me as a child through my adolescent years was a taste of life in the shoes of an immigrant; I endured the painful physical labor of harvesting crops to working in warehouses. There is nothing like suffering as a motivation for further success. Working on farms and warehouses as a harvester has taught me that obtaining your everyday bread of life is worth a great amount of effort. Just staying alive on a day-to-day basis is a struggle. If there is one thing I will always take away is that we can’t change where we come from, but we can change where we go.
Shervin Zahem
Robinson SecondaryWest Springfield, VA
I immigrated alongside my mother and father out of Iran when I was just 5 years old. We left as asylum seekers and waited in Turkey for 3 years for our application to be approved for the US. The process of immigrating was a hard and extensive journey that took so much effort and energy on the part of my mother and father. My family struggled financially throughout the entire journey but we kept going and never gave up. During this time my mother did her best to homeschool me and provide me a fighting chance when I came into US schools. When we first came to the US getting by was rough. My mother and father worked full-time while I went to school. Starting in 4th grade after having very limited education for 3 years affected my mental health heavily as I constantly fell behind the kids in my class who've lived in the US their entire lives. Just last year, my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack which devasted my mother and me, as we felt lost and hopeless in a country we were still new in. Over the years, I have developed a deep appreciation for the work my mother and father put in to bring me into a country where I can receive a proper education and further my career goals. I want to pursue a career in healthcare and help people through my work. I want to make my mother and father proud by furthering my education and becoming a son they can be proud of as I use the opportunities they provided me to help others and make the world a better place.
Karla Zelaya
Western High School (Las Vegas)Las Vegas, NV
Medicine has been in my life since I was a little girl. Both of my grandmothers died of cancer, my aunt had lupus, and my brother was born with a heart murmur. All these experiences inspire me. I have experience caring for sick people because I had to take care of one of my grandmothers. She had stomach cancer, and with all the knowledge I have gained from all the books read over the years, I knew how to act in this situation. I understood my grandmother's situation better than anyone, and it made me realize that my purpose in life is to serve the medical community specializing in neurosurgery. My desire to help my Hispanic community and ease their suffering motivated me to work hard and overcome any obstacle in my way. I want to do great things, so my community feels good and safe about their health. As someone who has experienced the burden of being unable to afford healthcare, I am determined to make it more accessible to low-income people in my Hispanic community. After completing my medical studies, I plan to open a chain of low-cost clinics in poverty-stricken areas. I am aware that financial struggles and lack of well-paying jobs can prevent people from seeking medical attention, which is why my objective is to alleviate the stress and worry that comes with being unable to afford healthcare. I hope that by providing affordable healthcare, individuals won't have to worry about going into debt to pay for medical bills with exorbitant amounts. Many Hispanic patients are not fluent in English, which can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications during medical appointments. That’s why my clinic will have access to qualified interpreters to ensure effective communication with patients.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 31, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 30, 2024.

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