El Paso – Thirteen Ysleta Independent School District high school seniors and 16 students from the Socorro Independent School District were surprised with the news today that they won a collective $500,000 in Broad Prize college scholarships from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
Students from seven Ysleta high schools received news of their scholarships during a surprise announcement at Del Valle High with Superintendent Michael Zolkoski, School Board President Martha Y. Reyes, Broad Foundation representatives and the students' parents. The announcement was held in conjunction with a visit by a national research team studying the district to collect evidence of best practices.
Students from four Socorro high schools were surprised in a separate announcement at the district's service center with Superintendent Xavier De La Torre, administrators, principals, representatives from The Broad Foundation and the students' parents.
"We congratulate these students for their academic success but more importantly for improving their performance during high school," said Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundation, a national education philanthropy based in Los Angeles. "Their achievement is also a testament to the support and dedication from their parents, teachers, administrators and the entire El Paso community. We look forward to their continued success in college and beyond."
The Ysleta and Socorro students received the scholarships because the two districts were 2010 finalists for The Broad (pronounced like "road") Prize, the nation's largest education award honoring large urban districts that have demonstrated the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among income and ethnic groups.
Unlike many traditional scholarships that are awarded only to top-tier students, Broad Prize scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors who have a demonstrated record of improving their grades over the course of their high school career and have a financial need.
Broad Prize scholars receive two- or four-year scholarships depending on the type of institution they choose to attend. Scholarship recipients who enroll in four-year institutions receive $20,000 paid out over four years ($5,000 per year). Students who enroll in two-year institutions receive $5,000 scholarships paid out over two years ($2,500 per year). The scholarship selection and disbursement process is managed by Scholarship America.
A full list of Ysleta and Socorro scholarship recipients is below. Since the first Broad Prize was awarded in 2002, more than 1,000 students nationwide have received college scholarships.
Ysleta is also a finalist for the 2011 Broad Prize, guaranteeing the district another $150,000 and putting it in the running for $550,000 in college scholarships if the district wins the top honor. A team of researchers is visiting the district this week to collect data and conduct extensive interviews to better understand what practices Ysleta is employing that are improving student performance and closing achievement gaps.
The winner of the 2011 Broad Prize will be announced on Sept. 20 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. This year's other finalists are Broward County Public Schools in Florida, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national venture philanthropy established by philanthropist Eli Broad to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundation's education work is focused on dramatically improving K-12 urban public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition. The foundation's Internet address is www.broadeducation.org. For more information about The Broad Prize, please visit www.broadprize.org.
The following 13 Ysleta seniors were selected to receive Broad Prize scholarships:
Bel Air High
Bel Air High
Del Valle High
Del Valle High
Valle Verde Early College High
The following 16 Socorro seniors were selected to receive Broad Prize scholarships:
El Dorado High
El Dorado High
Gabriela De La Rosa