Biblioteca Scholarship Award Ceremony Recognizes Achievement, Encourages Community
By Breyton Méndez
In a ceremony filled with praise for their impressive achievements and a speech by one of their own on the challenges and rewards of university life, La Biblioteca’s 77 August scholarship winners received their award checks on Saturday, August 10 at the library’s Teatro Santa Ana.
Each semester, La Biblioteca awards scholarships to help students pay for university and preparatoria (high school) tuition. New applicants must undergo a rigorous application process in which they provide financial information, a proposed budget for their academic and personal costs, interview with the Scholarship Committee, and achieve a 9.0 grade point average or better out of 10.
The ceremony opened with Scholarships Coordinator Michelle Aguilar giving a cordial welcome to all the scholarship recipients and Scholarship Committee member Alma Cervantes encouraging the becarios to acknowledge their achievement in receiving a Biblioteca scholarship.
“Look around you,” she urged. “This is your circle. Know that when you go home to study, when you do the best you can, including when the circumstances of your life become difficult, that you are not alone. Each student you see here is another brightly shining light in your neighborhood, your rural community, who burns with the desire to triumph.”
President of the Biblioteca’s Board of Directors Ali Zerriffi also addressed the audience, praising their achievement but also encouraging them to give back to their community in acknowledgement of what had been given to them.
Victor Manuel Torres, a university scholarship winner who is studying medicine at the Autonomous University of México (UNAM) in México City and who this week presented a research paper to the annual conference of the Mexican Society of Physical Sciences, gave an inspiring speech in which he shared advice about the transition from high school to college, including the things he wished someone had told him before he entered university. One of the most important things he advised his fellow scholarship winners to do in school was to understand that they didn’t have to go through the academic process alone.
“Create networks with your fellow students,” he told the audience. “When someone around you doesn’t understand something, help them. Help each other succeed.”
The ceremony closed with the distribution of scholarship checks, followed by food and drink.