$25,000 provides bridge to college dream
Dec 01, 2017 08:00AM
● By Jet Burnham
Eighteen-year-old Jobany Quiterio hugs his mom, Cendy Quiterio, after he was surprised with a $25,000 scholarship during class. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
Jobany Quiterio, a senior at Taylorsville High School, received a $25,000 scholarship from Sallie Mae.
“Sallie Mae’s mission is to help young people realize their potential—for many that involves going to college,” said Sallie Mae Spokesman Rick Castello. “The reason and the passion behind the Bridging the Dream Scholarship is to help students do just that—bridge that dream to college.”
Jobany’s story inspired the scholarship team when they read the nomination submitted by Jobany’s school counselor, Chad Farnes.
“As a seventh-grader, Jobany was traveling down the wrong path,” said Farnes in the application. “But he found the ability within himself to turn his life around. Today he is one of the most academically successful students and influential student leaders at Taylorsville High School. I can think of no one more deserving of this scholarship and the doors it will open for him.”
Farnes said he was impressed with Jobany from the moment he met him at the beginning of his sophomore year.
“Jobany came into Taylorsville on a giant roll—with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm,” said Farnes. Jobany joined the school’s Latinos in Action, took challenging classes and got involved in school activities.
Jobany said what turned his life and attitude around was searching out opportunities to try new things and to meet new people.
“The ability of Jobany to put himself into new situations that may be uncomfortable has been really impressive,” Farnes said. “I’ve just been impressed with him all around in regard to the amount of effort that he puts into his activities and his willingness to step outside his comfort zone and the things he’s been able to achieve as a result.”
What he’s been able to achieve is a 3.8 GPA and becoming THS’s student body president. He also tutors elementary students and has become a role model for others.
Cendy Quiterio, his mother, said he is a very good example to the community and to his siblings. She said he has always been a help and support to her. Jobany said his mother taught him how to set goals, taking small, reasonable steps to achieve great things.
“Little by little I will get there,” he said. He also believes in not letting bumps along the way slow him down. Jobany’s brother passed away several years ago, and he struggled during his early teen years falling in with the wrong crowd. He said he has overcome a lot of barriers that could have kept him from his dream of going to college.
“I try to overcome them with going to school and meeting new people,” he said. “People I’ve met have inspired me to do better.”
Farnes said Jobany is always moving forward, taking his goals to the next step. Whether it is academically or socially, Farnes said Jobany is constantly reaching outside his comfort zone.
“One thing I am impressed with Jobany is his willingness to take on a challenge,” said Farnes.
Cendy Quiterio said she is grateful for the support the school counselor and teachers have given her son. She said she has always known that her son would do great things in school.
Jobany said going to college has always been his goal, from the moment he heard about what college was and realized what it would mean for him.
The Sallie Mae Scholarship team announced Jobany as a scholarship winner in front of his LIA class.
“I already had a plan to go to college for sure,” he said. “But now I’m for sure, for sure, going!”
Jobany plans to pursue a business degree at the University of Utah.
Nominations for the Bridging the Dream are submitted by high school counselors and community leaders across the U.S. This is the second year for the scholarship that helps students who excel inside and outside the classroom but who need financial help to get a college education. Sallie Mae employees fundraised to help provide five $25,000 scholarships to teens around the country.