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Hurtado Scholarship

Funded by
5 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Jan 15, 2023
Winners Announced
Feb 15, 2023
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
New York

One of the main obstacles that people face in society is the unequal distribution of opportunity. 

There are so many people who are full of potential but are held back by family circumstances, adolescent decisions, or other factors. Students working on a Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED) often show persistence and determination in light of challenging circumstances.

This scholarship aims to support students in New York who are pursuing their GEDs so they can go on to achieve all of their goals. 

Any student in New York who is working on a GED may apply, but underrepresented minorities, first-generation immigrants, single parents, and first-generation students are preferred.

To apply, tell us how taking an alternative route by getting your GED has shaped you and your goals and where you see yourself in five years.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published July 19, 2022
Essay Topic

How has taking an alternative path to continued education through getting your GED shaped you and your goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Moncerath Gutierrez Matute
Patchogue-Medford High SchoolMedford, NY
How much is it? That was the question we asked whenever we bought anything. We weren’t poor, but we weren’t too comfortable either. As the years passed I learned to appreciate very thing we had, but that didn’t stop my inner child from dreaming to have the nice toys I saw on YouTube. Or the luxury cars we would pass on the highway. I'm only 14, but to quote MLKJ “I have a dream”. I want to go to college. I want to graduate high school and get into a good college, right here in America. My mom fought so hard to bring me and my sister here and I will ensure that I do whatever I can to make OUR dream come true. While getting into college may be a bit challenging, I know I can do it if I try. Which I will. Whilst I have thought deep into the future, I have thought deeper into the present. Right now I am doing everything I can to make sure that I get a good job that I enjoy. A job that I could only dream of getting in Honduras. I will break down any, and every obstacle I have to. I will study till the crack of dawn if it mean I can achieve my dream. My mom works harder than anyone I know. She comes form work, runs some errands, makes cleans, makes dinner, washes the dishes, and still has time to listen to OUR problems. I love my mom more than anything. She wishes nothing but the best for us, and I want to show her that we will get it. I want her to know that all that she has suffered is worth it. My mom deserves to be happy, and I know I can do that for her. I can make her even happier when I get into the college of my dreams. I will never stop trying. I will ALWAYS be grateful for every single sacrifice my mom has made to bring us to a country with a great education system. And I will take the most advantage of this education system that I can. I will breakthrough anything to get my mom and my family the happiness and satisfaction we deserve. I will NEVER give up.
Tracy Zhang
Stony Brook UniversityNew York, NY
Pursuing my GED as a first-generation student in a low-income, single-parent household has certainly not been easy. Throughout the year, I have struggled with the decisions and choices I have made and will make in the future, whether financial or academic. In considering tuition costs, I have questioned whether or not I should have taken a gap year to work in order to build up my finances and be able to feel more secure, or if I should have chosen a college closer to home and gave more financial aid. I have worried about my family's financial situation and my contribution to it. In this way, I have been shaped in that I have become more mature and cautious about the financial actions I can and should take. In terms of academics, I have had some obstacles as well. I was unsure of the path I should pursue, having to consider financial aspects again, personal interests, and many other factors. I have had many discussions with family, friends, academic advisors, and others, and have spent many hours researching various career paths. Having been inspired by the people around me, many of whom are pursuing health-related paths such as nursing, I decided that I would declare my major to be health sciences. I am passionate about learning about what others need and helping them through their difficulties. I want to go into the healthcare field to make an impact on others. I am determined to accomplish my goals and work hard so that the time and money I have spent are not wasted. By working to obtain my GED, I have a better understanding of myself and my values. I have also been gradually building confidence in asking others for help and learning to be proud of my academic accomplishments through my efforts. In five years, I see myself working and/or volunteering in a hospital or a similar setting, assisting patients in need. I will most likely also be furthering my education in health science to gain further knowledge and be more suited to work in this field. As I am still exploring my interests and passions, I hope to have a better understanding of the career path that I will be taking and be able to enjoy interests outside of my job. I hope to be able to balance work and school, and take time to build relationships with coworkers, family, and friends.
Destiny Sanchez
Sacred Heart UniversityBridgeport, CT
When the pandemic rose rapidly during my 9th-grade year, it caused many unfortunate upbringings to my plans. For instance, transitioning to remote learning was nerve-racking yet accessible to me. One being I wasn't used to the idea of classes being online, I had to multitask many jobs around the house (such as helping my sisters with their courses while maintaining my classes), and I had to keep my grades as high as -B. I was concerned about my future because I felt I couldn't be a clinical therapist due to the pandemic ruining my chances. What did make remote learning work was the idea that every assignment given to me was online. It was easier not to lose important papers I needed for each class. However, those struggles didn't stop me. I knew that life as we knew it wouldn't be as normal as we all expected it to be this decade, but I still try to remain optimistic. I knew the wind blowing me like a leaf to my fate wasn't the solution. I needed to continue to work hard to have a successful future of my own, the future that my parents wanted me to have. They've worked for many hours to sustain the needs we need to survive in this world. I wanted to repay them for all they have done for me. They raised me to be a successful, intelligent, and respectable young lady in this society. As I keep up my studies in school and get my GED at the end of my year in high school, I can see that even though my future may have some challenges to face along the way, I'll be able to defeat them. Five years from now, I see that I'll be able to have a successful job, either as an intern or as an actual therapist. Working to help mentally ill people is my biggest goal to make the world a better place. I felt that people with mental health problems need the type of people to be around them and tell them that life will get better. The illness doesn't define who that person is and they shouldn't have to feel that their illness is one of the characteristics that make up them. With all that being said, those aren't the big reasons why I wanted to be a therapist. The big reason was because of my sister and my mother. My sister has mental problems of her own and my mother did everything she could in her ability to try to understand her. Even when times were difficult when my sister wasn't able to control her emotions, she still didn't give up on helping her, especially when many mental health institutions kept calling her to place my sister in their facilities. Her response to them was always "no". She cared about her daughter, no matter what. That's what inspired me to help others with those same conditions as she did. Who knows, I might be able to help cure my sister one day.
Lissette Yuquilema
SUNY Westchester Community CollegeOssining, NY
I'm Lissette, a kind girl. I grew up with my grandmother and my uncle, my parents left me with them when I was 3 months old to give me a better future. I arrived here three years ago, looking for better opportunities. I met my parents for the first time here. I wasn’t so excited to meet them due to the fact that they did not raise me back in Ecuador. As time passed, my relationship with my parents became more strained. However strained the relationship with my parents is, now that I am here my goal is to learn English and improve my comfort level with it. I am taking advantage of many opportunities in the US and trying to grow. I’m proud of myself because I’ve overcome many obstacles, such as language, making friends, working on saving money, and studying. As a teenage mom, I decided to continue my education. My son is not a barrier in my life. On the contrary, he is my best support and motivation to improve myself and give him the good life and education he needs. My parents weren’t present in my infancy, and it was hard for me to reconnect with them in my adolescence. Now that I’m a mom, I would like to be present in my son’s life, while accessing higher education. I would like to be an example to my son and so many other teen mothers who find themselves in the same situation. I think education would be the best investment for my family going forward. To continue with my education I took an alternative path. I was two years in high school then I changed to GED classes to graduate quickly, one of the reasons was that I was pregnant and I was working to pay rent, bills and an immigration lawyer. I think I took a good decision because now I'm close to going to spring class at Westchester Community college. Graduating early favors me to take care of my newborn because he was born very premature 26 weeks now he is 8 months old. In five years I see myself graduating getting my major, fulfilling my goals, being a good mom and building an organization to help undocumented students. In the future, I want to build a foundation, and associate with people who would like to help more teenagers by giving information about the college, scholarships, immigration,... etc. It will help them because many times we do not have someone to guide us and we are afraid to make mistakes.
Faizan Tariq
Lindenhurst Senior High SchoolLindenhurst, NY
Obtaining my GED was a pivotal moment in my journey towards a successful career in the tech industry. While traditional high school education is the most common path towards a degree in computer science, I found myself facing a number of challenges and detours that made it difficult for me to follow that path. However, I didn't let those obstacles stand in my way. I knew that with hard work and dedication, I could overcome any challenges and achieve my goals, even if it meant taking an alternative route to education. That's why I decided to pursue my GED, and I'm glad I did. Earning my GED has provided me with the opportunity to pursue higher education in computer science and work towards my dream of a successful career in the tech industry. It has also given me the chance to demonstrate my knowledge and skills in a new way, proving to myself and others that I have what it takes to succeed in this field. In the future after five years after earning my GED, I could make significant progress in my education and career. Ive taken a number of computer science courses at a local community college, building a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that I can continue to build upon as I progress through my degree program. I've also been fortunate enough to land a number of internships and part-time jobs in the tech industry, giving me valuable hands-on experience and exposure to the field. Looking to the future, I'm confident that my GED and the hard work and dedication I've put into my education and career will pay off. In five years, I hope to have completed my degree in computer science and landed a full-time position at a top tech company, where I can use my skills and knowledge to make a positive impact and help drive innovation and progress in the industry. I know that the path towards a successful career in the tech industry can be challenging, and it's not always a straight line. But with determination and a willingness to pursue alternative paths to education, I believe that anyone can achieve their goals and make a meaningful contribution to their field. I'm grateful for the opportunity that my GED has given me, and I'm excited to see where my journey will take me in the years ahead. My GED will help obtain next level studies.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jan 15, 2023. Winners will be announced on Feb 15, 2023.

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