With a little more than a month left of school, there is a definite excitement among Hemet Unified seniors. The nostalgia of the past four years is beginning to set in and students are realizing the end of their high school career is coming to a close. 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 senior Ana Chavez is the latter. After moving to Hemet in 8th grade, she found herself being homesick and missing her hometown of San Marcos. She said the transition of towns was challenging, but 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 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 Ana. 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.
This extraordinary and selfless young woman is able to see the positive in every situation, which 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 them graduate college. As a recipient of the Dell Scholars program, Ana has received a $20,000 scholarship, a laptop, credits towards her books, and constant support to address any challenges she may be facing emotionally or financially.
Ana said she is extremely grateful for the opportunity this scholarship will provide her as she attends California State University (CSU), 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 will be graduating high school with multiple college credits.
Ana mentioned 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 Ana Chavez is the perfect example. She was able to reach out to various classmates, staff, and family members to get to her goal. She is the first one in her family to attend college and is excited to be able to take that step into the unknown. “I’m excited to go to college and learn new things and create new experiences, 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 students in Riverside County that were chosen for 2017! Congratulations Ana Chavez on being named a Dell Scholar and for your acceptance to Fresno State!