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Three SISD students earn QuestBridge National Match Scholarship

SISD students Roussel Acosta, Amaya Flores and Joyce Ceballos earn QuestBridge National Match Scholarship

Three SISD students earned a QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship and have been granted admission to a QuestBridge college partner with a full, four-year scholarship worth more than $200,000 each.

The scholarship is part of a generous financial aid package provided by the QuestBridge college partner that covers the cost of attendance, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses.

Roussel Acosta and Amaya Flores, both from El Dorado High School, and Joyce Ceballos from Eastlake High School were matched with a QuestBridge university/college partner.

“These students are absolute game changers,” said Venessa Betancourt, principal at El Dorado High School. “They excel in anything they do, whether it’s fine arts or academics, they just bring so much value to our El Dorado community.”

Acosta matched with Columbia University, a prestigious Ivy League college in New York. Acosta’s dedication to achieving academic and personal excellence helped him reach this milestone in his life.

“I was pretty nervous to check if I got matched,” Acosta said. “When I saw that I did, I was in disbelief, it felt so rewarding to see that all my hard work had paid off.”

Acosta plans to double major in visual arts and in music and plans to be involved with various clubs throughout the university.

Flores also matched with Columbia University, the school she has wished to attend since the fourth grade. She plans to double major in political science and human rights on a pre-law track and eventually pursue her dream career as a civil rights lawyer.

“I feel like so often we can think that certain things won’t happen to us,” Flores said. “We think miracles happen to other people, but because of this, I’ve learned that we all need to start claiming our own miracles.”

Joyce Ceballos, from Eastlake High School, matched with Grinnell College in Iowa. Ceballos will be a first-generation college student and plans to study sociology and double minor in statistics and political science. 

“It was so unexpected because I honestly thought I wasn’t even going to be a finalist,” Ceballos said. “Thanks to my counselors, my teachers and my dad for never letting me give up, I stayed determined to get this scholarship, and thankfully I did.”

This year, 1,464 finalists were selected as match scholarship recipients at 42 QuestBridge college partners.

These students’ academic and personal excellence has now earned them a spot in the QuestBridge Scholars Network.

“Ever since I met Joyce, she’s always been a go-getter,” said Sonia Ortega, counselor at Eastlake High School. “During this entire process, she didn’t even need much guidance, she did almost everything on her own, and I am so proud of her.”

In addition, three Montwood High School students, Said Ajo-Montano, Nathan Soto, and Marylin Ramirez, were named finalists for the QuestBridge scholarship. They qualify to apply for early admission to a QuestBridge college partner.

“This is a huge deal for our Montwood community,” said Carlos Guerra, principal at Montwood High School. “All three students are outstanding scholars, and I am honestly not surprised that they were considered for this awesome opportunity.”

Published February 9, 2021

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