Yohanna Torres was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised by a single mother in the United States. Her family’s financial struggles made her all the more determined to receive a college education.
As a junior in high school, Yohanna took 9 AP/AICE classes and held a total of 3 jobs -- working 40 hours a week Monday through Friday to help her mother pay bills. On the weekends, Yohanna would drive all over the state of Florida campaigning for one of the highest offices in the Florida District of Key Club, District Treasurer. After driving over 3000 miles and giving a speech in front of 2000 students, Yohanna was elected. She managed an $800,000 operations and $500,000 endowment budget all the while overseeing two committees and serving as the service grant committee chair.
Furthermore, Yohanna participated in the CFE Credit Union (now Addition Financial) as Teller her Sophomore year and Head Teller her Senior year. Additionally, she competed in regional financial literacy competitions between the states of Alabama and Florida. During her Junior year, she was able to win competitions against students all over the state of Florida and Alabama eventually placing first.
Yohanna is now a student at Hamilton College pursuing a degree in Economics. She is interested in eventually opening up her own real estate firm and investing in low-income housing. Her dream is to pay it forward and give another high achieving, yet economically disadvantaged students like herself the opportunity to pursue a college education.
"The scholarship allowed me to purchase my first semester books and school materials that I may have otherwise not been able to afford!"
Maria Belen Leon Reyes was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and was raised in the United States. She graduated from Colonial High School with honors as well as being placed in the top 10% of her class in 2019.
Throughout her years in high school, she took rigorous courses as she was in the Cambridge AICE program along with doing community service with Colonial Key Club. In her junior year of high school, she was selected to be apart of the Elevation Scholars Program, this small spark of good luck led Maria to apply for the Head Teller position in the CFE Credit Union- where she was happily accepted for the position.
Throughout her senior year, Maria had to balance having a full course load of AP and AICE classes (in which she had no trouble receiving straight A's throughout the year), fulfilling her obligations as a head teller for the Credit Union, contributing to society as being a volunteer for community service, maintaining obligations in clubs she was heavily involved in (like the National Honors Society, and also working a part-time job. This busy schedule made Maria realize that she has an eagerness to always work no matter the circumstance.
Maria is now attending Franklin and Marshall College, where she is planning major in Sociology on a pre-med track. She is extremely passionate about making an impact on people's lives, along with having a strong interest in science.
"This $1,000 scholarship allowed me to pay off unexpected expenses for college, now I don't have to take out any school loans for the Fall Semester of 2019. Thank you so much!"