WVHS 2017 Valedictorian Isabel Michel is one of four nationwide Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship winners
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
These days, paying for college can be like trying to cook hamburgers without a spatula. But there are millions of kids who are willing to pick up a spatula if it helps make a dent in their student loans. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) understand this, and this year they have offered four scholarships worth $100,000 each to help out Hispanic students achieve their college dreams. One of those winners was Hemet’s own West Valley High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian Isabel Michel.
This story first made headlines at LatinoLA.com. The other winners alongside Isabel include: Eric Torres, London High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, attending Rice University; Iván Vázquez, Capital Senior High School in Boise, Idaho, attending Harvard University; and John Zapata Mantilla, Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Ga., attending University of Georgia.
Isabel is studying at Stanford University starting this fall. To give you a picture of how badly the scholarship was needed, basic annual tuition and fees at Stanford are $46,320 without financial aid. With room and board, textbooks and other fees added in, the total cost to attend Stanford is $64,477 annually. When you multiply that by four years, a six-figure scholarship suddenly becomes indispensable.
Hemet Unified School District Superintendent Christi Barrett has nothing but great things to say about Isabel.
“We are so proud of the determination Isabel has shown throughout her educational journey. She was a well-rounded student and excelled at many things throughout her time at West Valley High School,” said Barrett. “She is very deserving of this scholarship and we wish her the best of luck as she continues her education. We know she will represent Hemet Unified well at Stanford University and we look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in the future.”
According to HUSD, Michel was ranked at the top of West Valley’s graduating class of 394 students, with a 4.49 GPA, and scored a whopping 1450 on her SAT. Over four years, Isabel had shown a tremendous level of dedication to the school, running on both the cross country and track & field teams, serving as president of the California Scholarship Federation, and leading the school’s Academic Decathlon team for three years, including two Riverside County Championships. Isabel took every advanced placement course at West Valley, and served as the secretary for the Associated Student Body during her senior year. Isabel is also an avid volunteer, helping to facilitate the Hemet Public Library’s Summer Reading program since 2012.
To this day, RMHC has awarded more than $32.9 million in local and national RMHC/HACER Scholarships to more than 18,400 Hispanic students. RMHC/HACER, which stands for Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources, counts on the support of RMHC Global, McDonald’s Corporation, McDonald’s Hispanic owner/operators and other donors for its local scholarships.
On behalf of The Valley Chronicle, congratulations to Isabel in making it to Stanford, congratulations on winning this scholarship and the best of luck in all your studies!