2019 Scholarship America Dream Award Recipients Named - Scholarship America

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2019 Scholarship America Dream Award Recipients Named

By Matt Konrad

Twenty-two extraordinary students have been selected as recipients of Scholarship America’s 2019 Dream Award, given to students who have completed or expect to successfully complete at least one full year of college education by June 2019. The Dream Award is Scholarship America’s renewable scholarship program for students with financial need and who have overcome significant barriers to make it to college. Since the Dream Award was created in 2014, 86 students have received scholarship awards totaling nearly $1.5 million.

“This is a remarkable group of academic achievers with ambitious goals for their future,” said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America. “They have overcome tremendous adversity including abandonment, abuse, serious illness, family loss, poverty and homelessness, among other challenges to pursue their dreams for their future. Their stories are powerful and inspiring. These students have worked tirelessly to reach their goals for a better life.”

Pictured below are the 2019 Dream Award scholars. Click here to read more about them.

“When I received an email stating that I had been chosen to receive a Dream Award Scholarship, I could barely contain my joy,” said Janeise Davis, a Lewis University computer science major from Calumet City, Ill. “I almost cried with happiness. I had to transfer universities twice to find the right academic fit for me. Furthermore, I battled devastating digestive illnesses during my second year of college that almost caused me to take time off school. However, I persevered, especially thanks to the help of my family and friends, and have been continuing on the path to receiving my degree.”

“This scholarship has changed my life,” said Daniel Hernandez, a film/television major at Boston University, from High Ridge, Mo. “When I applied to universities there was so much doubt from counselors and teachers who knew I couldn’t pay for this kind of education, and yet I always told them that somewhere and somehow I would find a way. Your gift is the answer to my prayers that my family could worry less about these costs. This scholarship not only changed my life and future, but also the entire Hernandez family.”

“I take great joy in this amazing opportunity because the scholarship has already allowed me to show the Tongan people in my culture that education is the key to opportunity,” said Patrick Palau, a sociology major attending Brigham Young University, from Salt Lake City, Utah. “It truly takes a whole village to raise a child and I am a product of that. This year marks 14 years since my mother passed away from cancer and to this day I honor her by doing well in my academics.”    

“My career objective is a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing,” said Amarilis Santiago, a nursing major at Heritage University, from Toppenish, Wash. “With my degree, I intend to collaborate with local non-profit agencies to enhance the health care experience for those who are unaware of many existing resources.”  

Recipients were determined by a Dream Award Selection Committee, headed by Dr. Martha Kanter, the executive director of the College Promise Campaign and a senior fellow at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University.  Other selection committee members were:  Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO, Scholarship America; Sarita Brown, co-founder and president of Excelencia in Education; Dr. Mildred Garcia, president, American Association of State Colleges and Universities; Gabriella Gomez, Deputy Director of Postsecondary Policy and Advocacy for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Kristin Hultquist, renowned national education expert and founding partner of HCM Strategists; Jim Larimore, Chief Officer, ACT Center for Equity in Learning; and Teresa Lubbers, commissioner of Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

See a full list of 2019 Dream Award Recipients here. We are proud to honor them at the 2019 Dreams to Success event on May 15 in Washington, DC.

About Scholarship America®

Scholarship America is a non-profit organization that helps students fulfill their college dreams. Since 1958, Scholarship America has distributed $4.2 billion to more than 2.5 million students. The organization works with partners to lower barriers to a college education and give students the support needed to succeed. Learn more at scholarshipamerica.org.


Joan Cronson