The Hope Scholarship, founded by Brianna Silva ’18, aims to provide financial assistance to low-income Hispanic PHS students by paying for certain education-related costs.“When I began to do research on financial aid, I was shocked to find out how many more obstacles there are for Hispanic immigrants, as many schools categorize undocumented students as “foreign”–which makes them ineligible for both federal financial aid and in-state reduced tuition rates. I didn’t want to [be a] bystander to the needs of low income Hispanic students. I wanted to make a difference and stop the cycles of poverty,” Silva wrote in an email.
As Silva became more aware of the adversity many parents have to endure living off minimum wage earnings, she desired to create change for fellow Hispanic students.
Silva began to collect donations for her initiative in January on her GoFundMe page, and has raised nearly a fourth of her $3,000 goal.
The funds raised from the scholarship will be awarded to two Hispanic students, who will be chosen based on their grades, financial need, and extracurricular activities. Silva’s advisors, Corner House staff members Rhodalynn Agyeman and Filomeno Cuino, will also reach out to students they believe would be a good fit for the scholarship.
In a survey Silva conducted among Hispanic students at PHS, she found that over 60 percent live below the poverty line, yet all the participants hoped to attend college.
Through the Hope Scholarship, Silva intends to inspire Hispanic youth to pursue higher education.
The scholarship’s name honors Silva’s mother Esperanza, whose name translates to “hope” in English.