UTEP Awards $1M+ in Scholarships to Socorro ISD Students

Seventy-five Socorro Independent School District students will be UTEP-bound thanks to $1.03 million in scholarships awarded to the Future Miners

UTEP and SISD educators had scholarship presentation events at all six SISD high schools as part of the university’s first-round scholarship disbursement. The money was awarded to graduating seniors entering UTEP in the fall of 2018.

SISD’s scholarship recipients were selected from more than 13,000 applications, UTEP officials said. The university has awarded 334 scholarships for a total of more than $4.8 million for freshmen starting the university in the fall 2018 semester.

Team SISD students were surprised with the recognition ceremonies at their respective high schools. Each was given letters outlining their scholarships, handed a Miner’s pick pin, heard words of encouragement from their counselor and principal, and enjoyed seeing their proud parents and other family members in attendance.

“Socorro ISD did well,” Garcia said. “The district is very good at preparing their students for college. They had one of the largest number of students applying for scholarships.”

Montwood High School received the most scholarships in Team SISD. Twenty-two Rams were awarded a total of $248,000 in scholarships. El Dorado High School was second with 17 scholarships worth $224,000.

“This is extremely helpful,” said Karen Robles, Montwood High School’s current top student, of her $32,000 scholarship. “I definitely wouldn’t be able to go to college if I didn’t get a scholarship like this. I am really, really thankful that I am able to go to school and have it paid for. I thank Montwood because they definitely prepared me for college.”  Click here to view photos of the event.

At Pebble Hills High School, five students from the Spartan’s first graduating class were awarded scholarships totaling $92,000.

“That’s not bad for this being the first time,” Garcia said. “There will be even more during the second round. Now, they understand how it works.”

Pebble Hills principal Malissa Parham expects the numbers to increase, too. Many of her 647 seniors have applied for the funds. They are equipped for post-secondary education thanks to the numerous programs, such as dual credit, advance placement classes, the Sparta Business Academy and Career and Technology Education classes, offered at the high school, she said.

“We know we are going to hear more from UTEP in the second half,” Parham said. “I am so proud of our students because they have worked really, really hard to be prepared. Handing out scholarships the way UTEP does is special. It shows students that they have earned something extra special. It also shows younger students what can happen when they work to be college ready.”

Even though Ana Rodriguez has worked hard during her four years in high school, the 17-year-old was still surprised to discover she earned a UTEP scholarship. Her goal is to receive a degree in business so she can help her parents run a bakery they plan to open soon.

“You never know if getting a scholarship is possible,” Rodriguez said. “It’s what you hope for, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I wanted the scholarship to make my parents proud and to help them.” Click here to view photos of the event.

Four Mission Early College High School students were awarded scholarships totaling $68,000 at their ceremony. The students, who have already earned an associate’s degree, were surprised with the awards. They welcomed the funds to help them finish college.

“This is so great,” said Victoria Navarrete, a senior who earned a $32,000 scholarship. “It just makes me realize that all that hard work, all those the nights with no sleep and all those times I couldn’t hang out with my friends was all worth it in the end. Everything has a purpose. I have always wanted to be No. 1 in my class and go to UTEP. Now, I have an amazing opportunity to attend a great university that is so close. I am close to earning my bachelors. I will then pursue my masters and get my doctorate, too.”  Click here to view photos of the event.

The next scholarship distribution will be in the spring. Students interested in applying for the next round of scholarships have until March 1, said Steven Garcia, a university recruiter for UTEP.

UTEP scholarships awarded to SISD students:

SISD high school Number of students Total award amount
Americas HS 10 $152,000
Eastlake HS 7 $104,000
El Dorado HS 17 $224,000
Mission Early College HS 4 $68,000
Montwood HS 22 $248,000
Pebble Hills HS 5 $92,000
Socorro HS 10 $144,000
Total 75 $1.032 million