Scholars 2018

Valerie Ruby Faudoa, graduated high school as a first class graduate from Pebble Hills High School with a 3.87 GPA. Throughout high school, she was involved in Science UIL and Journalism UIL competitively. She was also the Editor-In-Chief of the yearbook staff for two years and a varsity cross country runner for one year. Her extra curricular activities extended to being part of National Honor Society, Student Council, and later be the co-founder of a suicide prevention program created with her best friend called Project Hope. Throughout this program they ensured not only inclusive activities, but also weekly informative announcements to help spread awareness on campus. She's now attending the University of Texas at Austin and plans to declare a major in Social Work, with a minor in Government. At UT Austin, she's part of the Subiendo Longhorn Chapter that focuses on outreach to high school juniors to become part of the academy for rising leaders hosted by McCombs School of Business. While at UT, she hopes to further her knowledge and skills to one day give back to her hometown, and specifically those kids who like her know the struggle of a border between families. "Knowing that a group of people cared about my dream and what I needed to get there helped me realize the amount of generosity there is for the El Paso community. I’m truly thankful and cannot wait to start making a change."

Luisa Gabaldon graduated with a 4.2 GPA and in the top 10% of her class from El Paso High School. She was the marketer and an editor of the yearbook, was involved with both the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, and received the advanced seal of biliteracy under her schools Connecting Worlds/Mundos Unidos magnet program. She’s currently attending the University of Texas at Austin and plans to major in marketing. At UT, she’s involved with the Latin Economics and Business Association. After completing her bachelors and masters, she hopes to move back to El Paso to implement her own business promoting sustainability as well as produce and market her own film expanding on the culture between the two border towns. “I am beyond grateful, this scholarship has helped me be able to pursue my dreams in a way I never thought would be possible” she said. “I am focused to better my community in every way possible, both in making it a better place to live and promoting the culture every el pasoan can never seem to let go."

Natalia Gonzalez graduated with a 4.0 GPA in top 5 of her class from Del Valle High School. She was in FBLA, Valor Dual Language Club, NHS, NEHS, HOBY, Student Board of Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank, Student Council Secretary, President of Multinational Business Academy, Captain of the Volleyball Varsity Team, All-Star Volleyball Player, Volunteer Tax Preparer and Site Coordinator at a VITA Site, and was a youth group leader at her church. She attends the University of Texas at Austin where she plans to major in Business Management. At UT, she is an Internal Relations Chair for the Hispanic Business Student Association, and is involved in community service events. "After completing my four years of college, I plan to go back to El Paso where I aspire to start my own non-profit organization that will help build homes for those in need. My dream is to be able to give back to my community and this scholarship has only motivated me to keep working hard in order to fulfill it."

Scholars 2017

Damaris Cortes graduated valedictorian of Clint Early College High School. She was involved in the Chemistry Club, Phi Theta Kappa International Society, and was yearbook editor-in-chief.  She attends the University of Texas at Austin and plans to major in Pre-Med/Science.  At UT, she’s part of the Room to Read organization which reads to low income prekindergarten students.  She’s also part of the Freshman Research Initiative, which focuses on lab work and research.  She hopes to return to El Paso as an emergency doctor.  “I am thankful to have been given this scholarship because it has lessened the economic burden for me.  As a first-generation student born into a low income family, my dream has always been to get the education to help my family and my community, but without a scholarship, it's more difficult," Damaris said.  "This scholarship helped me afford housing, which is a cost that sometimes is undermined by the cost of tuition alone.  Knowing that someone cared that I had the money to make my dream of college more attainable inspires me not only to continue in reaching my goals but also to be generous always.”

Jack Luvian graduated with a 4.05 GPA and in the top 10% of his class from Franklin High School. He was involved in the National Honor Society, student council, orchestra, Academic Decathlon, and newspaper.  He's currently attending the University of Texas at Austin and plans to major in English and Rhetoric & Writing.  At UT, he’s involved with The American Red Cross Club and Students Against Cruelty to Animals (SACA).  He hopes to one day become a professor of English and an author on environmental and social issues.  Jack said the scholarship allowed him to pursue his goals.  "Through my writing, I hope to address different matters affecting our world, ranging from climate change to the importance of helping survivors of sexual abuse," he said.  "This scholarship is paying for my education. That is absolutely incredible, to be given the gift of education.  With the knowledge I receive from college, I will be able to make a difference with my writing and teaching.  This scholarship joins me in creating change to make a better world.”

Veronica Rodriguez graduated with a 4.05 GPA as salutatorian from Bowie High School. She was involved in student council, Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps (JROTC), DECA, business academy and class committees.  She's currently attending the University of Texas at Austin and plans to major in business management.  She is active in The Hispanic Business Student Association and is a mentee with the McCombs Success Scholars.  "I plan on getting my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees and then go back to my hometown of El Paso, Texas," Veronica said.  "I want to give back to those that are in need and look to put the leadership skills I learned at college into action.  With this scholarship the worries of how I would pay for my studies was lifted off my shoulders."

Scholars  2016

2016 Scholars (left to right) Alexis Hernandez, Luisa Herrera, and Cynthia Gomez pictured with U.S. Congressman Beto O'Rourke (El Paso).

Alexis Hernandez graduated from Montwood High School in the top five percent of her class. She was actively involved in cheerleading and softball. In her spare time, she also loves snowboarding and plays the cello, violin, and piano. She is a student at UT-Austin majoring in biology with plans to eventually become a surgeon. 

Luisa Herrera graduated from Burges High School in the top five students. Her activities included being student council president, being Burges' only regionals-qualifying cross country runner last year, the Lady Mustangs' basketball team, National Honor Society, and numerous faith-based service programs. Luisa attends UT-Austin and hopes to study either speech pathology or special education. 

Cynthia Gomez graduated from Bowie High School in South El Paso at the top of her class. She was active with numerous organizations while in high school, including robotics club, High Q, Student Council, and the Bowie Garden. Cynthia attends UT-Austin and hopes to major in computer engineering and then pursue a master's degree. 

Scholars  2015

Ivana Valdez graduated in the top 10 percent of her class from Americas High School.  While in high school she was volleyball team captain, and a member of the National Honor Society, Destination Imagination, varsity choir, and an a capella group.  She is also recognized as gifted in Spanish and culinary arts, as well as creative writing.  In fact, she worked as a tutor for struggling writers during Americas’ school breaks.  Ivana  will attend UT Austin, where she will study biology and psychology. 

Abigail Ulloa was the valedictorian for the graduating class of 2015 at Bel Air High School.  She was a member of the National Honor Society,  High Q, and the Bel Air book, science, and guitar clubs.  She is a noted guitar player.  She competed in UIL competitions for music, spelling, and science, and also received excellence awards in advanced biology, health science, chemistry, history, and Japanese.  Abigail participated in the pharmacy technician program at Bel Air, where she said she gained first-hand experience working with low-income persons struggling to afford medication.  She will now attend UT Austin and study biochemistry, and hopes to pursue medical research, focusing particularly on making medication more affordable. 

Scholars  2014

Adriel Morgan will apply the scholarship she won last year toward her study at UT's McCombs School of Business. She deferred admission for one year to work abroad.  She graduated sixth in her class from Valle Verde Early College High School, where she received numerous academic honors, including being named to Valle Verdes' Honor Roll, and to the Dean's List and President's List for El Paso Community College, as well as winning 1st in Division (Mechanical Engineering) at the district science fair.  She is a graduate of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce's Junior Leadership of El Paso program and was Miss El Paso La Feria.  She volunteered for the El Paso Anti Human Trafficking Task Force and spent six summers working with impoverished communities on every continent.

Nicholas Baquera graduated fifth in his class from Montwood High School.  While in high school,Nicholas was the captain of the swim team, excelled at University Interscholastic League accounting competitions, and volunteered for environmental awareness projects.  He was a member of the National Honor Society, and was honored as the Most Outstanding Advanced Placement U.S. History student, as well as recognized as one of the Mayor's Top 100 Teens.  Nicholas is now a freshman at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, where he is also the recipient of the University's Presidential Achievement Scholarship.  After graduation he hopes to work for a major accounting firm and engage in community service opportunities.

Valerie Montes graduated third in her class from Bowie High School.  While in high school Valerie was president of DECA, and captain of the volleyball, basketball, and track teams.  She was active in yearbook, student council, National Honor Society, and her church's youth group. She also served as an accounting intern for the Borderplex Alliance in El Paso.  Valerie is now also a freshman at McCombs School of Business studying accounting.  She also hopes to work for a major accounting firm.

Scholars  2013

Gianni Outram is a graduate of El Dorado High School. She was one of the school's top five graduates in 2012, completed the school's International Baccalaureate program, and participated in several academic and volunteer organizations, including the speech and debate team and Boys and Girls Club of America. She was also a member of the varsity track and field and cheerleading teams. Gianni has put her love of cheer and dance to use as a member of the Pom Squad at UT. Gianni tells the scholarship committee that her goal in life is to work in education as a teacher, school counselor, or principal.

Avoree Villegas is a graduate of Ysleta High School. She was one of the school's top ten graduates in 2012 and was an officer in several organizations, including the National Honor Society, Advancement Via Individual Determination, and DECA. She was also captain of her soccer and volleyball teams. Avoree is now majoring in biochemistry at UT. She plans to attend medical school and eventually become an OB/GYN. She tells the scholarship committee she hopes to start an organization that volunteers at children’s hospitals and animal shelters.

Carmen Castillo Allen is a graduate of Bowie High School. Carmen was a leader in extracurricular activities such as track and soccer, journalism, yearbook, and National Honor Society. She was also an ambitious student, graduating in the top ten percent of her class and taking extra science and math courses to prepare for pursuing a degree in biology. After graduating from UT, Carmen plans to attend medical school and eventually become an anesthesiologist. She tells the scholarship committee she hopes to one day open a clinic in El Paso that provides free health services.

Scholars  2012

Cristian Apodaca

El Paso High School

The University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2016

Marketing Major

Janeth Escajeda

Fabens High School
The University of Texas at
Austin, Class of 2016

Michelle Ramirez

Mountain View High School

The University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2016

Social Work & Women and Gender Studies Major

Scholars  2011

Misael Mendoza-Valdez

Burges High School

The University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2016

American Studies & Music Business Major

Shannon Wolf

Chapin High School

The University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2015

Public Health Major

Hae Soo Chung

Montwood High School

The University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2015

Accounting Major

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