Program Awards Three Alliance/Merck Ciencia Scholars from Brownsville

Alliance/Merck Ciencia Hispanic Scholars Selected, Supporting Future Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Fields

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Brownsville, TX (PRWEB) March 14, 2013

Three remarkable Hispanic students who graduated from Brownsville-area high schools and have commenced their college careers this fall were announced as Alliance/Merck Ciencia Scholars. According to Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, “These students will redefine the frontiers of science. I have no doubt they will be the next generation of Nobel prize winners, lab directors, professors, and health professionals leading scientific discovery that improves our health and well-being.”

Each Alliance/Merck Ciencia Scholar recipient will major in a STEM field and will receive up to $42,500 in college scholarship and summer research internship support over the next four years. In addition, the Alliance announced that 25 Hispanic college students majoring in a STEM field are recipients of a $2,000 Ciencia National Scholarship to help them complete their education.

The local Brownsville scholars announced today are George Garcia of Lopez High School, Ruben Santos of Porter High School, and Elisia Campos of Rivera High School.

In their applications, these students wrote about the family members and mentors who inspired and guided them, as well as their aspirations for degrees and ultimately careers in the STEM fields.

Garcia earned a 3.68 GPA while playing in the marching and jazz bands, and participating in the National Honor Society and the University Interscholastic League Academics. He earned a spot in an intensive summer science, math, and engineering program at the University of Texas at Austin. Garcia intends to major in mechanical engineering because of his interest in machines and devices and how innovation benefits society as a whole. He is midway through his first year at University of Texas at Brownsville.

"Having the opportunity to form part of the Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program has not only helped me overcome financial hardships, but it has also allowed me to become part of a larger network that I know will be extremely beneficial for me while attending college and developing my professional career in the field of engineering," said Garcia.

Santos earned an impressive 4.0 while competing with the Technology Student Association and the University Interscholastic League in math and science; playing in two sport teams; and serving as president of the robotics club. Santos intends to study Electrical and Computer Engineering and hopes to work for a major engineering corporation and potentially establish his own company. He is midway through his first year at University of Texas at Austin.

Campos earned a 3.82 GPA while participating in the National Honor Society, Leadership Club, school choir, and many other activities. Her affection and appreciation for animals and nature is the reason she wants to study Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine. She is committed to seize the opportunity of an education and is focused on giving back to her community in Brownsville. She is midway through her first year at Texas A&M – College Station.

"Earning the Alliance/Merck Ciencia Scholarship has helped me in my initiative to fulfill my goals and to have a brighter future,” said Campos. “I wish to make a positive impact on the world and with the opportunity of being an Alliance/ Merck Scholar I believe I have been given the necessary tools to accomplish this and so much more."

The Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program is made possible by a $4 million grant from The Merck Company Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck, a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. This is the largest grant to date that The Merck Company Foundation has made in the field of Hispanic education. The Alliance, along with its supporting arm, the Health Foundation for the Americas, is partnering with The Merck Company Foundation to implement the program.

Today’s announcement marked the fourth of five groups of Ciencia Scholars and students. Over a five-year period, the program will provide a total of 50 promising Hispanic high school students from Brownsville, TX; Elizabeth, NJ; and, Los Angeles, CA, with up to $42,500 in college scholarships and summer research internship support to pursue STEM degrees (up to $20,000 in scholarship, and up to $22,500 in internship support). The program will also feature mentorship opportunities and an annual Ciencia Scholars symposium. In addition, a total of 125 Hispanic college students with a declared major in a STEM field will receive $2,000 scholarships. More information is available at http://www.AllianceScholars.org.

NOTE: The application period for the 2012-2013 scholarship application cycle is currently open. The deadline for all completed applications is March 31, 2013.

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About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance) is the nation’s foremost science-based source of information and trusted advocate for Hispanic health and well-being. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation and provides services to more than 15 million annually, making a daily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. For more information, call the Alliance’s Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645 or visit http://www.hispanichealth.org. Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/healthyamericas). Follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/health4americas).

About the Health Foundation for the Americas
The Health Foundation for the Americas (HFA) is the support organization for the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. HFA encourages philanthropy that invests in the human and social capital of community-based organizations that deliver innovative solutions for health and well-being in the Americas. For more information, visit http://www.healthyamericas.org.

About the Merck Company Foundation
The Merck Company Foundation is a U.S.-based, private, charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by the global research-driven pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc., the Foundation is funded entirely by the Company and is Merck’s chief source of funding support to qualified, non-profit, charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Merck Company Foundation contributed more than $524 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs consistent with Merck’s overall mission to enhance the health and well-being of people around the world. For more information, visit http://www.merckcompanyfoundation.org.

Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program
2012 Alliance/Merck Ciencia Scholar Profiles – Brownsville, TX

George Garcia
Lopez High School, Brownsville, TX
Mechanical Engineering

Curiosity for how technology functions ignites interest in mechanical engineering. George Garcia, 17, graduated from Lopez High School in Brownsville, Texas. He received a 3.68 GPA while participating in the marching and jazz bands, National Honor Society, University Interscholastic League Academics, and the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica de la Preparatoria Lopez. He was also selected to participate in the Principal’s Circle group to discuss ways to improve his high school and for an intensive summer science, math, and engineering program at the University of Texas at Austin. Garcia intends to major in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Business Administration. His teachers describe him as well-respected, compassionate, insightful, and a diligent student who continually performs at the highest level academically. Garcia saw in his co-workers who spoke little English and did not have educations that all they could depend on for a living was their own bodies, and now he understands the value of an education in fulfilling his dreams and giving hope to his family and community. Mechanical engineering excites him because it allows for studying machines and devices that bring convenience and excitement to daily routines, and he hopes that one day his innovations will not only benefit himself but society as a whole.

Ruben Santos
Gladys Porter High School, Brownsville, TX
Electrical Engineering

Barriers to success facing Hispanics in the United States serve as inspiration for a young man with ambitious STEM goals. Ruben Santos, 18, graduated from Gladys Porter High School in Brownsville, Texas. He received a 4.0 GPA while competing with the Technology Student Association and the University Interscholastic League in math and science competitions, participating in the Environmental Club, playing on the basketball and golf teams, serving as public relations officer of the Student Council and president of the robotics club, and participating in the Business Professionals of America and National Honor Society. Ruben intends to study Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as Business Administration. His teachers describe him as engaging, bright, energetic, and an excellent leader in his class. Ruben cites his Hispanic heritage as a factor that has made him stronger and taught him that through perseverance and dedication, anything is possible. He hopes to eventually work for a major engineering corporation and potentially establish his own company and help it grow. Understanding the importance of education to his own life and those in his community, a separate goal of his is to found an organization that gives Hispanics the opportunity to attend college.

Elisia Campos
Simon Rivera, Jr. High School, Brownsville, TX
Biological Sciences

Affection for animals combined with love for science leads young woman into a veterinary career. Elisia Campos, 18, graduated from Simon Rivera, Jr. High School in Brownsville, Texas. She received a 3.82 GPA while participating in the National Honor Society, Leadership Club, choir, and the Health Occupation Students of America, an organization that promotes career opportunities in health care and the delivery of health care to all people. She has also participated in the Science Fair, City Math Meet, History Fair, and has helped in the American Red Cross Blood Drive, Fundraising Monica’s Christmas House, and other community events. Elisia plans to study Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine. Her teachers describe her as hard working, determined, mature, and someone who works well in a team as well as individually. Growing up in a Hispanic family, Elisia has seen the hard life her father must endure because he did not have the chance to get an education, and she is committed to seizing her opportunity to learn for the sake of her family and her community. Elisia’s affection and appreciation for animals and nature is the reason she has chosen to study to become a veterinarian. She wants to make the Hispanics in her hometown responsible pet owners regardless of economic status and would like to open an animal clinic in Brownsville that offers veterinary services at a low cost to provide care to all pets in need.


Contact

  • Marcela Gaitan
    National Alliance For Hispanic Health
    202-797-4336
    Email
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