LatPro Scholarship finalists announced – help us choose a winner!

LatPro is proud to announce the nine finalists for our current scholarship award, which include future business leaders, counselors, teachers, government and foreign affairs authorities, healthcare professionals, and engineers.  We received thousands of quality applications, but are incredibly impressed with the passion, integrity, and honesty that these nine finalists exemplify in their essays.

Now we need your help in choosing the one scholarship award winner!  The final selection process will involve three different factors:

  1. outside voting
  2. comments left by visitors
  3. the LatPro scholarship committee’s final review of the essays on January 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.

Iustin McCarthy-Contreras, Business, University of Arizona 

iustincontrerasIn the fall of 2011, I studied in Guatemala with the University of Arizona…On a fateful night, I was offered a motorcycle ride to where I was staying on the island. A head-on collision with a drunk motorcyclist took the life of the person who offered me the ride and my life took another direction from that second on… There was no water ambulance, no ground ambulance and no medical help. It took nearly eleven hours before I made it to a Managua hospital. I had suffered a traumatic brain injury and the orthopedic injuries I sustained required a series of blood transfusions. I spent a week in a coma…. Through intense therapy and the support of my mother, sister, friends and community, I was determined to regain what the accident claimed.

Click to read Iustin’s entire essay and vote!

Camille Carlton, International Affairs and Political Science, Northeastern University       

camillecarltonThere I stood. All four thousand and forty-eight stars perfectly placed in front of me. They reflected in the still pool beneath them and their magnitude of importance filled me like light pouring in through a window. Each star for one hundred dead Americans. The inscription, “Here we mark the price of freedom” which has been permanently etched in my mind since, made my stomach drop. I cannot begin to explain the amount of blessings that I felt at that moment. To be fortunate enough to live in a country with such a magnificently structured government, to have rights that other countries have only dreamed of, it was eye opening and inspiring all at once. My mind was made up.

Click to read Camille’s entire essay and vote!

Nanette Chacon, Clinical Counseling, University of Phoenix

nanettechacon1At the age of 20, my life changed forever with the events surrounding the birth of my daughter… She was born 5 ½ weeks early with a rare terminal disorder that was not discovered until after her birth. She lived for nine days until I had her baptized and taken off life support. I sat with her for seven hours until she passed away in my arms. I would never have been able to make it through such a traumatic time period in my life if there had not been a neonatal grief counselor with me every step of the way. That experience changed my life in so many ways, including the career path I believe I am supposed to be going down

Click to read Nanette’s entire essay and vote!

David Martinez, Cognitive Studies in Education, Teachers College

DavidMartinezIn my early education, I suffered through what George W. Bush called “the soft bigotry of low-expectations.” I managed to overcome this but I realized early on that I was part of the lucky few. Knowing this left me with no other choice but to help those that are less fortunate… I became a teacher with the goal of being a “quiet leader” and demonstrating what is possible…I am now a PhD student at Teachers College with the hope of becoming a professor in the education department of a research school. I want to contribute to research that will change policies and have a hand in the training of future teachers who will maintain high-expectations.

Click to read David’s entire essay and vote!

Concepcion Torres, International Affairs, Rollins College 

concepciontorresIt was hard to believe that my parents, who had been successful business owners, were now mistreated agricultural workers in Belle Glade, Florida. I felt traumatized and distraught…When I was 15, my parents’ frustration drove them to move again, this time to Ontario, Canada. During our stay in that country, I had the opportunity to interact with multiple refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Change and diversity had become part of my life, but along with that I had developed a sense of revulsion for injustice and an eagerness to break cultural barriers. At the same time, because of my relative isolation, I felt out of sync, belonging not to any particular place but to an abstract world.   

Click to read Concepcion’s entire essay and vote!

Mihaela Lara, Nursing, University of Arizona

mihaelalaraI grew up with an ill father that required great care. I played an important role in promoting his health by creating a safe environment around him, by planning his diets, or simply by assisting him with any physical activities he had to perform. I alleviated his suffering and helped him to recover from surgeries. I learned that I possess nurturing qualities, but education is the last piece of the puzzle… Limited English knowledge, raising two kids while in school and working at night, as a server, constitute obstacles that I’m still fighting to overcome. The fact that I was accepted at the University of Arizona College of Nursing is the greatest thing that could have happened to me.

Click to read Mihaela’s entire essay and vote!

Elizabeth Glunk, Teaching English as a Second Language, The University of Texas at San Antonio

elizabethglunkWhen I learned that “ESL” stood for English as a Second Language, I was immediately intrigued. The idea of teaching immigrants and students of various nationalities and working in a learning environment where I could engage with students who bring a wealth of diverse cultural experiences stirred my heart… My dream, which is just as alive today as it was then, is to provide students, particularly English language learners, with the educational support and encouragement needed to overcome the hindrances involved in learning a new language. More than that, I hope to inspire these students to discover and fulfill their dreams in spite of the countless hardships they face in this country.

Click to read Elizabeth’s entire essay and vote!

Christian Pastor,  Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

christianpastorI am originally from Peru and I moved to the United States six years ago. Since I was a little kid, I had an interest for technology and being really good at math helped me decide what I wanted to be once I grew up. My dream was always to be able to be part of something revolutionary and exciting that would change life as we know it and help many others in the proces…The next challenge I am already facing and it is to graduate from college with a degree in electrical engineering and obtain a job where I can be a part of something extraordinary that will help many people around the world.

Click to read Christian’s entire essay and vote!

Ryann Quick, Public Health, University of Arizona

ryannquickWhen I was ten years old I lost my father to alcoholism and smoking. My parents were divorced due to my father’s extreme addiction and violent bipolarism. My mother did her very best to shield us from his negativity… During high school I worked at Mariposa Community Health Center in Nogales, Arizona as a Teen Health Facilitator. I was one of two teens in Santa Cruz County with this job.  My job consisted of giving and creating presentations on health issues… My favorite group to teach was the inmates at the juvenile detention center, since they were at risk youth I got to give them the knowledge to change their lives for the better…Working at the clinic is what opened my eyes to public health.              

Click to read Ryann’s entire essay and vote!

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