Scholar Story: Betty
San Diego,CA

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Located in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, Hoover High School Dollars for Scholars began serving students in 1996 after the high school alumni association received a $2,500 grant for the purpose of starting a Dollars for Scholars chapter. Ninety percent of Hoover High School students' families live below the poverty level, twenty-seven different languages are spoken, and nearly 98 percent of the students are minority, according to Chapter President, Jon Baker.

Betty“There’s a great need for scholarships,” he said. “The alumni association at the high school is really active and has supported our chapter since its beginning.”

Every year, Hoover Heights Dollars for Scholars gives out a Community Volunteer Service Award to a student who has gone above and beyond the high school’s 50-hour volunteer requirement. In 2008, the chapter awarded Hoover High School student, Betty Hua, with the $500 scholarship. Betty spent her high school years involved in a traveling theater group that performed plays for elementary students based on life lessons, and volunteering in her predominantly low-income community of City Heights. She also spent a summer in Mexico researching environmental changes in the wetlands.

“I cannot fully express my gratitude to Scholarship America for rewarding me with a scholarship,” Betty wrote in a letter to Scholarship America. “City Heights has a minority-majority and several ethnic immigrants are represented. But the core of City Heights lies in this diversity, and although it may be its Achilles heel when attempting to meet federal school testing standards, it is its greatest strength. The outreach dedicated to my community has infected me and forged a path of community involvement in my name.”

Betty was the first Hoover High school graduate in over 15 years to be accepted into an Ivy League university. This fall, Betty began her second year at Brown University.

“Receiving this scholarship is proof of my mother’s success of her children after years of overcoming one hardship after another. It is support that will get me through college and my future years in life,” she said.

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