Tahquitz senior earns $20,000

Her ability to overcome hardships and obstacles were factors in winning the scholarship

Photo courtesy of HUSD
Ana Chavez is one of 403 students chosen as a Dell Scholar for 2017. She is attending California State University, Fresno in the fall.

■ Chronicle News Service

Summer vacation is almost over, and many high school graduates are getting ready for their first time away from home at college, or looking for a job. Some students may look back on their time in high school with fond memories and some may look back and see the various challenges they were faced with.
Tahquitz graduate Ana Chavez is the latter. After moving to Hemet in 8th grade, she found herself homesick for her hometown of San Marcos. She said the transition of the move was challenging, but she was able to adapt. After her father became ill, she found herself helping her mother to support the family. While other students her age were concerned with an upcoming game, or a date, she was concerned with helping her family as much as she could.
“I believe that everyone is put on a path that they were meant to handle,” said Chavez. She said despite the many challenges she and her family has had to face, she continues to tell herself that the challenges and hardships are only temporary.
Her ability to see the positive in every situation may be the reason she was selected to receive a scholarship from the Dell Scholars program. This program is an initiative from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation that recognizes students who have overcome hardships and obstacles to pursue their education. This program provides students with more than just money – they provide support and assistance to help these students graduate college.
As a recipient of the Dell Scholars program, Chavez received a $20,000 scholarship, a laptop, credits towards her books, and constant support to address any challenges she may face emotionally or financially. Chavez said she is extremely grateful for the opportunity this scholarship will provide her as she attends California State University, Fresno in the fall. She plans on majoring in biochemistry and minoring in criminal justice to pursue a career in forensic analysis.
Due to her determination, she graduated high school with multiple college credits. Chavez stated she would not be in this position if it wasn’t for key staff members at Tahquitz High School. She thanked her counselor, Mrs. Shearer, for giving her the encouragement she needed to continue to pursue with a tough academic schedule. She thanked Kacy Simpson and Alex Serrato for their continued guidance and for always being there to set her back on track after she felt she was losing motivation.
There’s a famous saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” and Chavez is the perfect example. She was able to reach out to various classmates, staff, and family members to accomplish her goal. She is the first one in her family to attend college and is excited to take that step into the unknown.
“I’m excited to go to college and learn new things and create new experiences,” said Chavez, “but I’m most excited to be a role model to my younger siblings.”
Out of 8,631 applicants nationwide, 403 students were chosen this year to be named a Dell Scholar. Ana is one of five Riverside County students that were chosen for 2017!

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