Hispanics & Latinos (ESL) Matter to Us Scholarship

Deadline: May 15, 2020
Available to: ESL students of Hispanic/Latino descent
Award Amount: $5,000

Qualifications
  1. Must be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  2. Must be a Nevada resident at the time of application
  3. Must be a first-generation ESL college student of Hispanic or Latino descent
  4. Must submit an online application
  5. Must submit a 500+ word essay that covers the 2020-2021 topic
  6. Must be enrolled in a college program in the 2020-2021 school year
Topic

College enrollment rates are rising among Hispanic men and women in the United States. This rise in postsecondary attendance is largely attributable to the nation’s growing Hispanic population and a sharp decline in their high school dropout rate. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that nearly 1-in-4 college-age adults will identify as Hispanics by 2020.

First-generation Hispanic college students face unique obstacles. A study at the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that up to half of Latino undergraduate’s parents have not received any postsecondary education. Many educational experts agree that parents without a college background are unable to adequately prepare their children for the rigorous academic and social pressures of institutionalized higher education.

Language barriers are another factor affecting Hispanics’ postsecondary education rates. Hispanics made up 45% of all U.S. immigrants in 2016, and roughly 80% of the country’s English Language Learners (ELLs) identify as Hispanic. Despite a widespread emphasis on English instruction in U.S. public schools, less than one-third of K-12 ELL students earn average or above-average reading comprehension scores. These, as well as other factors, present compelling challenges that are unique to the Hispanic/Latino and ESL community.

Write a 500+ word essay, explaining the unique challenges of being an ESL student of Hispanic/Latino descent and discuss how you have overcome those challenges to prepare yourself for a college education. Further, explain how you intend to use your education to help others overcome those obstacles and achieve the American dream. (Essay can be written in English or Spanish.)

Winning Criteria

The scholarship winners will be based on the following factors:

Ability to communicate a coherent and compelling essay that conveys the student’s unique challenges as an ESL student of Hispanic/Latino descent and demonstrates how hard work and perseverance can help overcome those challenges to achieve the American Dream.

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