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Valentina Vera Buyvol Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Apr 1, 2022
Winners Announced
May 1, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school junior or senior
Financial Status:
New Jersey

Valentina Vera Buyvol was born with a rare and lethal form of skeletal dysplasia and passed away too soon. 

Valentina fought hard throughout the pregnancy and was born early at just 32 weeks, showing a fierce determination to come into the world and making her parents proud.

This scholarship seeks to honor Valentina Vera Buyvol by supporting a student who demonstrates her passion for life. 

Any low-income high school junior or senior who lives in New Jersey may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us about a challenge you have faced, how you overcame the challenge, and how you demonstrated perseverance and determination.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published January 3, 2022
Essay Topic

Describe at least one challenge you have faced academically or personally and the steps you took to overcome that challenge. In what ways did you demonstrate perseverance and determination?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Evelin Merino-Torres
Essex County CollegeCity of Orange, NJ
I am pleased to be a first-generation college student because to me, a continuous family cycle has been broken. While being at the "STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges", I had a captivating experience in the Computer Science track, although it doesn’t relate to my passion for drawing, I am thrilled to be a STEM student. I also have the option to turn what I love into a passion, which can then be turned into a dream being pursued. During my journey in STEM, I did run into some challenges such as developing a unique way to solve a problem when a group has different perspectives on solving it, that was a challenge that was overcome in the past three years. Overall, what keeps me motivated every day is jotting down my short-term and long-term goals and listening to music or a podcast. During my freshman year in high school, I did not know much about working in groups or developing a solution to a single problem. I've learned that working independently and in groups has its advantages and disadvantages because not every group member will agree with your solution or your opinion. What helped me achieve this challenge is listening to podcasts and YouTube videos because I want to know what other content creators did to start getting their ideas getting recognition or what was the process of working with people much different than you. Something I gained by listening to a variety of creators is that not everyone is going to agree with you and that it is important to always be respectful to others. The best part about working in groups is learning from others, most of the time I end up seeing where my peers come from to develop a solution and we often present it to the class. When my group members and I have developed our final solution, we like to get feedback on what we can improve. Now that I am a student in the twelfth grade, I have presented a couple of times, no matter if I'm working independently or in a group. In October, I worked on a project called the "Senior Capstone Project", and this project was based on research and app development. My group members and I had to brainstorm ideas that dealt with problems in our community and how can an app help solve these problems. We came up with many ideas, such as homeless people in our community, a lack of trash cans, mental illnesses, etc... We had many ideas in mind but after having a fair and respectful discussion, we went with the idea of creating an app that can help teenagers find jobs. The reason why we chose this idea is that as teenagers ourselves, we know many people like us that deal with this issue of not finding a job when you're young. We then researched to develop a well-written literature review, that was presented in January. The presentation went well, we got positive feedback and we knew our idea would be great for not only our community but the world. I am glad that my presentation skills improved throughout these years in high school, working in a group and speaking in front of my classmates was not easy. Now, I am ready to continue my education by attending college. I would like to major in Business or Finance because I am interested in budgeting and investing. I feel prepared to start networking with many people so that I can be a financial advisor in the future.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2022.

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