We are proud to announce the seven finalists for the 2015 LatPro Scholarship award, which include future finance professionals, architects, social workers, scientists, linguists, engineers and educators. We received thousands of exceptional applications, but we feel that these candidates showed the best combination of passion, integrity, and dedication to their chosen fields of study.
Now we need your help in choosing the one scholarship award winner! The final selection process will involve three different factors:
- outside voting (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media options on the left side of the essays)
- comments left by visitors
- the LatPro Scholarship committee’s scoring of the student’s application and essay
The one winner will be announced on Tuesday June 30th. Please help us with our selection by voting for your favorite essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options on the left side of the essays) and by leaving comments or clicking the ‘star’ icon above the comments section.
Melanie Delgado, Finance, New York University
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved business. I loved to set up my store at home with products we had, and even made my own cash register when my friends played with Barbies. My interest in financial markets came from the lack of freedom of these in the country where I’m from, Cuba. I come from a country where capitalism does not exist, where the government sets prices, and where there is no more than one choice of shampoo. It was always fascinating to me to watch movies about the stock market, how scarcity could be turned into abundance, and how everyone had an opportunity to forge a better future for themselves.
Natalia Escobar, M.A. in Architecture, Northeastern University
My desire to create an impact through design aroused when my family and I moved to the United States and settled in suburban Florida. The absence of contrast between nature and the built environment generated a deep impression since, in my birthplace of Colombia, mountains surround most of the cities. Even though I felt this absence of nature, I also experienced liberty through the extensive horizon and colossal skyline that Miami offers. A few years later, I decided to commence my studies in Architecture.
Joanna Llamas, Social Work, New York University
My motivation for becoming a social worker stems from my past experiences growing up. I have always had a great interest in helping and working with others. For as long as I can remember I have both witnessed and experienced families in crisis. Facing my personal problems at the tender age of twelve made me insightful beyond my years. As the eldest child, I had to grow up fast, helping care for my brother and sisters on a daily basis. My childhood involved a lot of outside interventions that helped me understand just how much of a difference social workers can make.
Guillermo Martinez-Ariza, Drug Discovery and Development, University of Arizona
My formal study of chemistry began during my early years of high school, and from the beginning I enjoyed and excelled within this subject area. Because I was in the first six places in the State Chemistry Olympiad, I had a chance to participate in the National Mexican Chemistry Olympiad. Preparing for the competition provided me not only valuable knowledge and experience, but also the confidence to devote myself to chemistry. My interest in chemistry grew into a true passion when I discovered the extremely noble application of drug discovery and development.
Mateo Rocha, Linguistics and Latin American Studies, University of New Mexico
In my adolescent years, I had reached a point where I could not communicate meaningfully or intellectually with my parents in our native language of Spanish. A piercing sensation of emptiness struck me as I realized this, but this was also a pivotal point in my life. I yearned to develop and use the Spanish that I had never known. For the last two years of high school, I immersed my mind in my desires to define my identity and to forge a link to my family and cultural legacy that I felt was at stake. Little did I know, this personal goal aligned with that of an undergraduate career in Linguistics and Latin American Studies.
Norma Nohemi Villagómez-Marquez, Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona
I am the oldest of two siblings and a first generation college student. My father has worked on farms all his life, and my mother has been a wonderful stay at home mother. In my culture, graduating from a university amounts to an outstanding achievement, since only a finite amount of Latin American students accomplish their educational goals. Many Latinos, although they possess the intelligence and desire to graduate college, do not because they are unable to finance a college education. Personally, coming from a low-income family, the mere fact of attending a university and receiving an education is very valuable and highly appreciated.
Karolina Villagrana, Master of Education Leadership, Teachers College Columbia
Enrolling your child in school should be met with elation, but my mom experienced otherwise. The local public school enrolled my oldest brother in a bilingual classroom because Spanish was spoken in the household. My mom viewed the school’s policy as an injustice and responded immediately by placing my brother in a parochial school. In my eyes, it was at this moment that she became an advocate for quality education. My parents strived to provide the best education they could afford. In third grade, I performed academically at a first-grade level. Rejecting my underperformance, my parents enrolled me in an upper-middle class parochial school known for their high academic achievement. At the new school, I began far behind my fourth-grade peers. As the only Latina in the school, I felt compelled to excel.