More than that, however, it also offers other pronounced benefits, such as a Mac book, SAT classes from the Princeton Review, and a San Francisco college tour—all for the price of nothing. After having learned about this program in January, many sophomores eagerly submitted their applications for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Simon Family Foundation is a newly introduced program in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. As a first-generation Simon Scholar at CMHS myself, I can attest to the unique benefits this scholarship offers. In a struggling economy, many families cannot afford higher education for their children. This program was established for the sole purpose of helping families overcome financial obstacles and for students to achieve the American dream.
Being the only eight at CMHS to receive the scholarship this year, the sophomores were filled with excitement and anticipation as they were welcomed into the ever-growing family. We immediately decided to have a chat with three of these excited Simon Scholar winners: Jesus Bravo, Brittany Ka, and Emily Olvera.
Jesus Bravo: I expect the college coaching and career help, and I’m really excited for the summer and see how it goes for the Simon Scholar and meet all the new people.
Brittany Ka: I’m looking forward to the college prep classes and the trip to colleges.
Emily Olvera: I expect to earn a lot of experience from the Simon Scholar Foundation, hopefully gain many friends from getting to know everyone, and interacting with new people from other schools. And I’m looking forward to the fall retreat and the summer conference because that’s really where you get to hear other people’s stories and that’s pretty exciting.
Q: What were you and your family’s thoughts on receiving the scholarship?
JB: Well my brother was really excited for me; my mom was less excited but really excited either way. I don’t think she really knew what the scholarship was, but she was really excited. I was extremely excited [that] I started screaming in the house, so it was a great day.
BK: They were very excited and happy for me.
EO: I was very excited and my mom started crying [while] thanking Jesus and she was like praying because she was so happy for me because she obviously can’t pay for college for me so she was very thrilled and I was just really happy.
Q: What college(s) do you wish to go to?
JB: I want to go to UCLA.
BK: Stanford, UCLA, or UCI.
EO: I wish to go to UC Davis, Oregon, Brooklyn NY, or Hawaii State.
Q: How do you think the Simon Scholarship will assist you in attending that college(s)?
JB: Well the $4,000 a year would be pretty nice to help out with the [college] tuition, also for the textbooks. So yeah, it would help out a lot.
BK: The prep classes and getting involved with different colleges on the trips. Oh, and especially the money.
EO: Well they have a lot of college prep which can prepare you for like SAT and the PSAT. I’m a really bad test taker so I feel like that’s going to really help and motivate me to do better in those so I can actually get into a college.