Gryphon Gazette

The student news site of Animo Pat Brown Charter High School

The student news site of Animo Pat Brown Charter High School

Gryphon Gazette

The student news site of Animo Pat Brown Charter High School

Gryphon Gazette

Celebrating Excellence: APB’s QuestBridge Scholarship Finalist


Jonathan Ortiz, a senior at APB, was recently informed that he became a finalist, and possible winner of the QuestBridge scholarship. This opportunity makes Jonathan possible to attend a private university without paying anything. The scholarship provides a full four year education worth over $200,000. QuestBridge covers tuition fees, housing, food, books supplies, and even travel expenses. 

In order for the scholarship to be awarded Jonathan has to attend an institution that is partnered with QuestBridge. Some of the schools that are partnered are Stanford University, University of Southern California, Pomona College, Princeton University, Yale University, etc. In order to apply, Jonathan had to fill in personal information, answer questions about his financial situation, and his intended major, write two essays, one being a topical essay and the other one being a personal statement. 

Jonathan heard about the scholarship through the college advisor Ms.Cruz. According to him Ms.Cruz was the person that helped him the most when it came to writing essays  

“The conversations her and I had [helped] to truly capture my feelings and my perspective…when it came to writing my personal statement.” Jonathan said. 

When it came to writing essays Jonathan didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to write a personal statement in which he had to reflect what challenges he has overcome throughout his life. 

“I think it is so difficult for us as people to take a step back and realize what we are living through. We just view it as normal, so for me in order to go through my living experiences and reflect on them was challenging.”

Even though Jonathan felt exhausted finding the right words to express his story he stayed strong. Knowing that he won’t have to struggle to pay for his education motivated him to focus on finishing writing, everytime he would feel demotivated Jonathan would take a look back at all the support and help he had received, giving him fuel to continue.  

When Jonathan was informed that he met the requirements to become a finalist he felt a mix of emotions. He was relieved on one hand, but on the other he knew it was just the beginning of hard work. The next step for Jonathan is to submit financial aid documents to a couple of private schools.  

“Some advice I have is to do your research. Become educated on what you can do in order to succeed. We live in an area where school sometimes is deemed as “lame” or almost impossible to go to college. But that mindset has kept many people marginalized. With the correct amount of education you will be able to succeed

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