Doubling in size in just its second year, the San Antonio Area Foundation’s Legacy Scholarship program is giving dozens of Bexar County high school juniors peace of mind going into their final year.

In its inaugural year in 2022, Legacy awarded 40 Bexar County students with $40,000 scholarships each. As that group gets ready to head off to college this fall, the Area Foundation announced that the 2023 program doubled to 80 Bexar recipients.

In all, this unique educational opportunity – founded in 2021 by an anonymous donor in what’s believed to be one of the largest college scholarship programs in the country – now offers 100 high school juniors in Bexar and Webb counties a $10,000 scholarship for each of their four years of college. That’s a total of $4 million in scholarships in 2023.

“It’s really humbling for us to offer this educational opportunity,” said Bernice Uresti, the Area Foundation’s Executive Director of Legacy Scholarship and Scholars. “By prioritizing low-income students, the Legacy Scholarship program addresses our vision of closing opportunity gaps for those in our community who need it most.”

A ceremony honoring 20 Webb County Legacy Scholars was held in April and a reception to do the same for their San Antonio counterparts is set for 6 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the Area Foundation’s new headquarters – 155 Concord Plaza, Suite 301, SATX 78216. The event will be open to the media.

Among those being recognized as 2023 Bexar Legacy Scholars will be Malena Flores, who attends Young Women’s Leadership Academy in San Antonio Independent School District.

“Thank you for being the catalyst for furthering my higher education,” she said. “I want you to know that you are making a difference in our community, and you are actively changing the course of my life and I am forever honored to be a recipient of this scholarship.”

Joining her will be Melanie Mendez from Memorial High School in Edgewood Independent School District, who’s now optimistic about pursuing a legal career.

“I wanted to thank you for opening the doors to new opportunities,” she wrote in response to her award letter. “It restored hope in my dreams of becoming a lawyer and reminded me that the effort I am putting into my academic career is paying off.”