This fall, twenty-six Breakthrough students are beginning their college journeys. As our students step onto campuses across the U.S., they are culminating years of hard work and dedication. We recognize that being accepted to college is just one aspect of the path to higher education. Many other factors, namely a school’s affordability, influence students’ ability to persist through college.

In 2017, the average debt for graduating college students was $39,400.* One of the most effective ways to minimize college debt is to apply for scholarships. As a part of our initiative to support students through college graduation, we are committed to helping students find scholarships that match their individual interests, goals, and eligibility. We want to highlight Breakthrough first-year college students who applied for and received scholarships this fall, ultimately working to make college a financial possibility.

Maite Garcia, now a first-year student at CSU San Marcos, was named a Disneyland Dreamer & Doer. According to their website, the scholarship recognizes “Orange County high school students who are taking action to improve their communities and schools through four focus areas: Strengthen Communities, Think Creatively, Conserve Nature and Live Healthier.” Knowing that Maite was a lifelong lover of all things Disney, Maite’s AVID teacher encouraged her to apply. She received a $1,000 scholarship and two tickets to Disneyland! Congratulations, Maite! (Read more about Maite’s first week of college here).

Sammy Jiminez, now a first-year student at Chapman University, was awarded a scholarship through Cox Charities. Cox Charities is committed to serving students with financial who express a passion for their communities. Sammy also received an AVID scholarship.

Jaime Del Rio received a HEEF, or Hispanic Educational Endowment Fund. HEEF is an Orange County based foundation that serves Latino students. Referring to the HEEF scholarship, Jaime noted, “It was not only a scholarship that I wanted to win, but an organization that I wanted to be a part of. This scholarship changed my view of freshman year and college as a whole because it showed me that there are a lot of people in the world who want me to succeed, there are people who believe in me, and trust that I will take their investment and return it tenfold in the near future. It gave me a needed boost of confidence entering my freshman year of college.” Jaime is starting his journey at Claremont McKenna College this fall (and joining his sister, Jassmin, a CMC senior!)

Jaime expresses a point that is deeply aligned with Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano’s mission: building a network of support is one of the most critical factors for college success. Each day we work to ensure that all students can access the opportunities around them and ultimately change the trajectories of their futures. Congratulations once again to all of the 2018 scholarship recipients!

*Data from Student Loan Hero.

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