Collectively, the 20 students in our Bright Futures Class of 2021 have earned over $85,000 in awards, scholarships and merit-based aid for their first year in college. These seniors are an impressive bunch. Standing out among high-achievers such as these is no small feat.
Bright Futures and Dream Big senior Perla Garcia has done just that! After admiring her dedication and effort in high school, we could not be any happier to share the news that Perla was awarded the highest level President's Scholarship at Westminster College and will enter their nursing program in the fall.
“All of this news is a lot to take in for me and my parents,” admitted Perla. “My mom was actually in tears when the letter of acceptance arrived. We realized that Westminster is in reach because of my 4 year Bright Futures scholarship and this amazing merit-based award. There was a time when I felt college was not a realistic option for me. It feels so powerful to achieve this as a first-generation student!”
Perla is quick to share credit with her family for all she has accomplished. “My parents have always sent the message that they believe in me and that I am more than capable. It was their confidence that motivated me to take challenging classes and push myself academically.”
Perla’s focus on academics was well understood by her younger siblings and they did their part to support her as well. “I remember my younger brother and sister surprising me with a home-made breakfast on the day of a math exam this past year. That was so meaningful to me! They knew I wanted to do well and did their part in helping me achieve my goals.” Perla is quite sure her family will continue to be a driving force behind her efforts at Westminster.
Throughout high school, Perla took five AP courses, one Honors level course, and 2 college level concurrent enrollment classes. She recognizes Ms. Moffat and the Dream Big program as a key factor in her academic success. “Working with teachers over the summer gave me a head start with challenging courses. This helped me feel more confident approaching teachers for help during the school year.”
Perla also found time to volunteer at the People’s Health Clinic and as an elementary school reading tutor during high school. Each of these experiences helped her build confidence and prepare for this next big chapter in her life.
“I feel ready to get started on my college journey. I’ve met with the older Bright Futures students at Westminster and know they will be there for me, along with Nikki and Jen, every step of the way. It takes away a lot of the fear and anxiety. My family and I are so thankful for the support from Bright Futures, both in high school and now into this next chapter of my life,”
This first-generation student has so much to be proud of. We couldn’t be happier to support Perla and wish her luck in the nursing program at Westminster. Congratulations Perla!