Six Whittier Union High School District seniors have been named 2019 Dell Scholars by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, an honor that provides each with a $20,000 scholarship toward their college education.
Chosen for the coveted award were Santa Fe High School students Jazmyn Gonzales, Armando Elias and Nicole Lopez-Urrutia and Pioneer High School students Litzy Martinez, Ana Cortez and Angel Landeros.
All six Whittier Union recipients are members of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a college-readiness program designed to help first-generation college students develop the skills they will need to be successful in college.
“Not only do I look forward to studying and learning, but I look forward to discovering the person I will be in a few years,” said Landeros, who plans to major in biological sciences at San Jose State University. “I have so much to look forward to and it all looks positive, whether that is because of the opportunities AVID has provided me or the opportunities college will provide me. Everything is in the future and college graduation will be the start of my future.”
Both schools are AVID National Demonstration Schools and have been recognized with various awards for their extensive commitment to ensuring equity and opportunity among students.
“AVID definitely helped to motivate me to keep up with my studies and explore my options,” said Lopez-Urrutia, who plans to attend UC Santa Cruz and major in environmental science. “AVID also helped me to be financially literate so that I could make better decisions about my future in higher education.”
Gonzales will pursue computer science in college, while Elias will study aerospace engineering at Cal State Long Beach. Martinez will study sociology at UC Davis and Cortez will attend UC Berkeley and major in bio-engineering.
As Dell Scholars, the Whittier Union students will receive their scholarships over four years, a laptop and textbook credits. They will also receive access to a support network of students, peer mentors and Dell staff, with services including confidential counseling, financial aid coaching and work-life solutions.
“Whittier Union’s 2019 Dell Scholars are a diverse and distinguished group of young adults who are learning that hard work and preparation can help them achieve their academic dreams and personal goals,” Superintendent Martin Plourde said. “I want to thank our hard-working and dedicated AVID teachers and staff, who have been indispensable in providing our students with valuable resources and preparing them for the future.”