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El Centro Students Win Scholarships

This article appeared in a January 2017 issue of the student newsletter.

El Centro College has awarded seniors Nicolas Figueroa (photo at left) and Alfredo Rodriguez OneMain Financial Completion Scholarships, enabling them to complete degrees in Business Administration and an Associate of Science in December 2016.

“I try hard in my studies,” said Figueroa. From graduating 11th at his high school to now earning a 3.7 GPA at El Centro, he strives to always do his best. He said the OneMain Financial Completion scholarship will help him finish his associate degree and then transfer to The University of Texas- Austin and major in Finance. “Then I plan to be financial analyst.”

“I’m a current student at El Centro College completing the ultimate requirements to transfer to Baylor College of Dentistry or Texas Woman’s University,” said Rodriguez. “Your financial support has helped me tremendously to accomplish these requirements and be able to transfer fall of 2017. Because of this scholarship, Rodriguez was able to complete a week shadowing a dental hygienist. 

The Completion Scholarship, funded by OneMain Financial and administered in five community colleges by reform leader Achieving the Dream, provides $3,000 to students who are close to finishing their degrees. 

Figueroa was born in Mexico and came to the states at the age of three. He grew up speaking Spanish at home and English at school and is fluent in both languages. He also grew up loving to learn at school; his mother, whom he says is his biggest fan, enrolled him in the Head Start Program at a very young age and he quickly became a top student.

“Growing up in a traditional Mexican home where the father is the only bread winner, and mother the housewife, I had to face some hardships.” By the age of eight, he began working with his dad every weekend from before sun up until after the sunset. Figueroa said his dad wanted him to know what laid ahead if he didn’t get an education. “His whole purpose was to make me value an education, and I guess it did work.”