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Education

President Obama’s Donated Nobel Prize Money Provides Scholarships for Hispanic Students

President Obama’s Donated Nobel Prize Money Provides Scholarships for Hispanic Students

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Thanks to the money President Obama received from his Novel Peace Prize in 2009, 12 Hispanic students are being given the opportunity to advance their education.

A dozen students were given money from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which was given $125,000 from the President, to pursue higher education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Frank Alvarez, CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), said he knew exactly what to do with the money. Twenty-four $5,000 scholarships were created, 12 of them given out last year.

In a press release, the HSF announced the scholarship recipients.

• Walaa Abdallah, 20, of Yonkers, N.Y., is majoring in chemical engineering at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y.
• Itxia Acevedo, 19, of Lewisville, Texas, who is majoring in biology with minors in chemistry, secondary education, and Spanish at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
• Carlos Alas, 20, of Naples, Fla., is majoring in mechanical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
• Juan Crespo, 20, of Granger, Ind., is majoring in atmospheric science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
• Rachael Hernandez, 21, of Chanhassen, Minn., is pursuing a double major in biology and Spanish at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn.
• Roberto Jaramillo, 22, of Tucson, Ariz., is majoring in elementary education at the University of Arizona in Tuscon.
• Jesus-Mario Luevano, Jr., 20, of El Paso, Tex., is majoring in molecular and cellular biology with a minor in global health and health policy at Harvard University in Boston.
• Katherine Minaya, 19, of New York City is a biological science major at the University of Chicago.
• Eduardo Morfin, 23, of Sylmar, Calif., is majoring in aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
• David Rodriguez, 20, of Casselberry, Fla., is an information technology major at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla.
• Adriana Ruiz, 19, of Phoenix is a civil engineering major at Arizona State University in Phoenix.
• Jenny Salgado, 21, of Charlotte, N.C., is a civil engineer major at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Katherine Minaya, who is attending the University of Chicago told the school’s paper, The Chicago Maroon, ‘Whatever it is I end up teaching, however, I want to make sure I impact another disadvantaged student’s life the way my life has been. Without teachers who cared, I would not be doing any of what I am doing today.’

In recent years, President Obama often spoke of wanted to increase both the number of students in STEM programs and the number of STEM educators. Alvarez says the HSF has also been working to get at least one college degree in every Hispanic household.