Laredo Students Set To Receive $40,000 Each For College

Nearly a dozen talented local students have been selected to receive $40,000 each for their upcoming college studies as the first-ever San Antonio Area Foundation Legacy Scholarship recipients.

The 10 high school juniors, all from Laredo ISD and United ISD, took part in a highly competitive application process with a selection committee comprised of local officials and community leaders. They were chosen as juniors so they will have ample time and peace of mind during the college application process in their senior year.

“We’re extremely thrilled,” said Bernice Uresti, who directs the Area Foundation’s scholarship programs. “We strongly believe in investing in our future leaders through their educational success, particularly for those from low-income areas facing a daunting challenge to reach their educational goals and dreams.”

Each scholarship recipient – dubbed “Legacy Scholar” – has committed to attending a Texas college (public or private) as part of the scholarship eligibility requirements. As long as they maintain set academic standards, they will receive $10,000 each for their four years. They will join 40 additional Legacy Scholars from Bexar County (not yet selected) as part of a $2 million initial commitment for this scholarship program, funded by a private anonymous donor.

The Area Foundation will hold a ceremony on April 20 at Texas A & M International University’s Student Center with Legacy Scholars and their families to recognize their achievement.

“It was an honor to be part of the Legacy Scholarship Selection Committee,” said Tano Tijerina, Webb County Judge. “All of the applicants showed grit, ambition and determination to pursue a higher education.”

Legacy Scholar and United High School junior Iracema Gonzalez will be one of the featured speakers at the recognition ceremony. She expressed profound gratitude in knowing that most or possibly all of her college tuition will be covered.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as a recipient for this esteemed scholarship and know that with it I will be able to accomplish so many goals in my journey through college as well as the rest of my life,” Iracema said.

Some of her fellow Legacy Scholars could hardly contain their emotions when they learned the great news.

“I’m very ambitious and I’ve been planning to go to college since elementary school,” said Kaitlyn Mata, unable to hold back what she described as tears of joy. “But it’s one thing to want it and plan for it … We always feared the cost and this scholarship will really, really help me and my family!”

The Laredo Legacy Scholars are: Andria Villanueva, Alynna Montemayor, Cassandra Mireles, Jose Jimenez, Iracema Gonzalez and Alexis Zaragoza from United ISD; Itzel Rojo, Alyssa Ramos, Kaitlyn Mata and Alejandro Trejo from Laredo ISD.