FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Akash Patel, Founder and Executive Director
Inaugural Scholarship Rewards Local Aspiring Americans
Overwhelming response spurred creation of an extra scholarship
(Oklahoma City) – March 30, 2015 – After being in operation for a year, Aspiring Americans launched its first spring scholarship fund. The fund aims to support students graduating from high school who do not qualify for aid because of their immigration status. More than 50 students applied from around Oklahoma and neighboring states over a period of six weeks.
Originally, three scholarships were created for deserving graduating seniors who are undocumented in Oklahoma. Funds were raised to offer a fourth award due to the overwhelming interest and superb quality of the applicants. Each scholarship is $3,000, to be split in the first two semesters of college.
“The scholarship selection process was vastly more challenging than I anticipated--the talent and passion of these students was overwhelming,” explained Jhoanna Astudillo, manager at Chase Bank and a member of the scholarship selection committee. “Our priority was to select students who best demonstrate academic and community leadership, selfless courage, and a servant heart. I am proud to say that we accomplished that with this group of dedicated students.”
The spring 2015 Aspiring Americans scholarship recipients are four worthy high school students from the Oklahoma City metro area. Heily Maldonado is from Dove Science Academy and would like to pursue chemical engineering and pre-med at the University of Oklahoma to, "Become a neurosurgeon and have a positive impact on my community.” From ASTEC Charter High School, Bryan Sandoval is interested in learning aerospace engineering at the University of Oklahoma so he can, “Graduate from college as an Aerospace Engineer, learn from my mistakes, and inspire others to become the best versions of themselves through servant leadership.” Ruth Cruses is from Santa Fe South High School and plans to keep her options open to study cell biology and pre-med so she can, "Be an example for other young women to follow, ease the suffering of others by treating people with cancer, and most of all, make my family proud.” From Putnam City West High School, Jocelyn Aldana plans to attend the nursing program at OSU-OKC so she can, "Be a source of hope for people who need it most, always do what is right, and honor those who helped me get this far.”
Aspiring Americans is a fiscally sponsored project of Communities Foundation of Oklahoma that invests in all aspiring Americans who are dedicated and passionate about bettering themselves and their communities. Aspiring Americans provides college scholarships for students who do not qualify for state or federal assistance, grants for immigration applications of Oklahoma students, and educational presentations that focus on resources for immigrant students and families.
For more information on Aspiring Americans’ events and programs, please contact Akash Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 562.413.6452, or visit aspiringamericans.org.