They Believed They Could, So They Did: Think Together Graduates Celebrate Major Milestones
Think Together’s yearly $2,000 Good to Great scholarships are awarded to exceptional students who, through their diligence, have improved their grades and shown ambition for higher education and a career. This year, Think Together awarded seven Good to Great scholarships and we are proud to present them to Daniela, Daisy, Jacquese, Astrid, Dennis, Kaiya and Think Together alumna Ruth.
Since 2018, Think Together has awarded over $140,000 in scholarships to help high school seniors jumpstart their college career. Think Together serves 33 high schools all over California and has impacted 4,019 high school students through our high school after-school drop-in programs. Scholarships can play an important role in supporting students to stay focused on learning and can relieve the stress of paying for college.
“Scholarships are one way Think Together helps change the odds for our students. Scholarships reward students for all their amazing hard work while alleviating the financial burden higher education may bring. I view scholarships as the fastest way to bring equity to our students, to give them an opportunity they may not have otherwise ever had,” shared Emilio Pena, College and Career Resource Specialist, Los Angeles Metro region.
Get to know our seven amazing scholarship recipients by reading a bit about them and their Think Together journey.
Daniela Moreno Estrada
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniela came to the United States and had a hard time adjusting to her new environment and overcoming a language barrier. When she joined Think Together, she found the support she needed to overcome these challenges and became part of the student leader program. Her goals for the future are to become a psychologist and open a shelter for those in need and make a difference in her community.
A Think Together veteran of eleven years, Daisy has slowly learned to come out of her shell and taken advantage of the programs and support provided to her. She started a Dungeons and Dragons club with her friends at school and participated in various clubs. Daisy has a bright future ahead of her as she gets ready to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz. She will be majoring in Arts and Design with hopes to one day be a video game designer.
Jacquese Anye Napier
During his time at Think Together, Jacquese was able to cross one thing off of his bucket list and that was getting to fly drones with The Boeing Company! One major way he hopes to make a difference in his community is by encouraging young people, like him, to be the best they can be. He wants to help steer them in the right direction that leads to higher education. Jacquese plans to continue his higher education at the California State University, Dominguez Hills and double major in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science.
Dennis Alejandro Lopez Mendoza
Despite being new to the country and learning a new language, Dennis was ready to face these challenges head on with the help of Think Together. He was able to achieve a grade point average of 3.9 and form strong bonds with the afterschool program youth leaders, especially his site coordinator. Dennis is currently part of the Turner-UCLA Allied Health Internship and aspires to become a doctor one day. He will be attending California State University, Long Beach and be majoring in Biology.
Juggling multiple classes and being on the volleyball team, proved too much to handle for Kaiya, and as a result, her grades began suffering. It wasn’t until she joined Think Together that she was able to find that balance between school and extracurricular activities. She now had time to create friendships and figure out what her next step after high school would be. Kaiya has decided she will be continuing her education at California State University, Dominguez Hills while majoring in Sociology. She hopes to one day have a career where she can help Black and impoverished communities.
Ruth Judith Gutierrez Granados
One thing that sets Ruth apart from the other scholarship recipients, is that she is a Think Together alumna. She has already started her college career at California State University, Fullerton and is working towards a degree in business with a concentration in accounting. During her time with Think Together, Ruth was a trailblazer for promoting Hack club, a club that exposes students to all things computer science. She was leading workshops and advising other branches of Hack club on how to lead a successful program.
Astrid Mazariegos Medina
It was a difficult time for Astrid when she returned to school her junior year after being online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her grades weren’t the best and she was grieving the loss of a loved one, but once she was able to get in the motion of things, Think Together was there to support her in any way possible. It was a safe place where she felt supported. Astrid aspires to work towards double majoring in child development and business because one day she hopes to run her own daycare program and help her community.
Leaving high school and venturing on to college can be a big adjustment, so Good to Great recipients not only receive an award amount but also a mentor to support them during their first year of college.
Our graduating seniors and alumni have excelled through their dedication to student leadership and academic goals. As they prepare to take those first steps into their college career or continue to traverse the ups and downs of college life, Think Together cheers our scholarship recipients on.
Please join us in giving our seniors and alumna a huge congratulatory round of applause for all their hard work and achievements!