If a high school student excels in sports, academics or technical or social achievements, they may be offered a college or university scholarship. There are many scholarships for minority or low-income students as well, but there are few students who might claim all of these types.
West Valley High School 2017 graduate Isabel Michel may be that rare scholar, athlete and social activist to earned that honor. Today she attends Stanford University, enjoying the benefit of a $100,000 scholarship from Ronald McDonald House Charities and Hispanic-American Commitment to Educational Resources charities group. The West Valley High School scholar-athlete is only one of four special Hispanic students chosen for the 2017 RMHC/HACER scholarship nationwide.
Michel’s high school achievements were top notch. As she gave her speech as valedictorian, she encouraged her fellow graduates to make the very best of themselves no matter their race, color or background in the years to come and to work hard to pursue their future goals. Michel was ranked first among her graduating class of 394 students and earned a 4.49 GPA and a score of 1450 on the SAT.
Over her four years at West Valley High School, her former teachers and school administrators at Hemet Unified School District said she showed “a tremendous level of dedication to the school, running on both the cross country and track and field teams, serving as president of the California Scholarship Federation and leading the school’s Academic Decathlon team for three years, including two Riverside County championships. Isabel has taken every Advanced Placement course at West Valley and served as secretary for the Associated Student Body during her senior year.”
Her selection by the scholarship team saw her as an ideal candidate to continue to increase the number of Hispanic students in colleges and universities nationwide. McDonalds’ Hispanic owners and operators have granted $4 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities to support the RMHC/HACER National Scholarships since 2008. The scholarship was founded in 1985 by McDonald’s owner, operator and former educator Richard Castro who was concerned about the Hispanic student dropout rates nationwide.
Michel, along with the three other Hispanic students chosen for the scholarship this year, was selected based on academic achievement, community involvement and financial need. The rigorous selection process includes a completed application, a personal questionnaire and interviews with distinguished panel of judges representing academia, business, media, Ronald McDonald House Charities and McDonald’s according to the group’s website, www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/community/hacer.html.
The other three RMHC/HACER scholarship winners this year are Eric Torres of London EL High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, attending Rice University; Ivan Vazquez of Capital Senior High School in Boise, Idaho, attending Harvard University and John Zapata Mantilla of Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Georgia, attending University of Georgia.
Some of the HACER scholarship students have parents or have themselves worked at McDonald’s, like Vazquez and his mother, while others have not.