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15 SAISD seniors named Dell Scholars


15 SAISD seniors named Dell Scholars
Travis Early College High School earns special recognition


April 22, 2020 – San Antonio ISD today announced that 15 of its high school seniors have been selected to become part of the newest cohort of Dell Scholars, a program of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The award is given to only 500 students across the nation annually, and the District’s representation among this year’s honorees increased significantly over its representation in previous years. The 15 students selected from among SAISD’s Class of 2020 is an increase from six SAISD students each in 2019 and 2018.
Additionally, Travis Early College High School earned special recognition this year as one of only three schools in the nation that is home to more than 10 scholars in its graduating class.
The SAISD students selected as Dell Scholars this year include the following seniors:
Kalisha Jones from Highlands High School.
From Travis Early College High School, students Daisy Almanza, Yasmin Banuelos, Jeremiah Carmona, Marco Escamilla, Abcde Espinoza, Laysha Garcia, Ashley Pennix, Cuauhtemoc Rodriguez, Holanda Saldivar, Yadira Silva, Luis Torres, and Laura Vazquez.
Maria Garcia and Lola Sanchez from Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
“We are celebrating the SAISD Class of 2020 in earning a record number of Dell Scholarships,” said Cynthia Martinez, AVID Coordinator for SAISD. 
Of the 500 Dell Scholar recipients across the nation, 260 of them participate in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) elective – including all of SAISD’s recipients. In order to qualify for the program, students must participate for a minimum of two years in a pre-approved college readiness program such as AVID. Through the AVID elective, teachers, counselors, and college bound advisors work with students in their senior year to apply for the Dell Scholarship and share their personal journeys of perseverance on their path to college.
“These scholars demonstrate that they are highly motivated students and have shown what the Dell Scholars Program calls a ‘unique GPA – grit, potential, and ambition,’” said Martinez. “AVID Dell Scholars are an inspiration because they embody the heart of AVID: the power of personal commitment and persistence, and we are proud to recognize the accomplishments of these hard-working students.”
Since it takes more than financial support to reach college graduation, the Dell Scholars program includes a support system for the challenges students may face while pursuing their degrees. In addition to a $20,000 scholarship, a laptop and textbook solutions, students also receive personalized, multifaceted support for the academic, financial, and emotional life challenges that could otherwise prevent them from completing their studies. Students and their families are connected with resources such as confidential counseling, financial aid coaching, work-life solutions, and the opportunity to network with support staff who succeeded under similar circumstances.
The Dell Scholars program targets low-income, highly motivated students who demonstrate the drive to succeed despite personal obstacles. According to the Dell Scholars website, four out of five Dell Scholars graduate in six years, which is four times the national average among their peers. 

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