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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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McAllen
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PSJA ISD Senior named Haraldson Scholar, awarded $40K scholarship

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Texas Border Business

ALAMO–PSJA Memorial Early College High School Senior Ana Villicana was named a Haraldson Scholar and was awarded a $40,000 scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

The Haraldson Foundation need-based scholarships are awarded annually to students who demonstrate leadership, academic excellence, and community service. The Haraldson Scholarship can be renewed for up to four years, for a total of $40,000, pending grade eligibility verification each semester. 

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Villicana graduated with an Associate Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in December 2020, a semester before receiving her high school diploma through the PSJA ISD Early College Program in partnership with South Texas College. She is currently first in her class and her essay was recently featured in the Texas School Business Magazine

According to Villicana, the opportunities she has had while at PSJA ISD, such as being a part of the district’s Early College Program and PSJA Entrepreneurship Institute, prepared her for college and beyond. As a proud daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student, she shared that her parents are her inspiration to succeed. 

“The opportunities I have had mean a lot because they have an impact on me and my family,” said Villicana, who plans to major in Business Finance at UT Austin. “Knowing that I got this scholarship is still hard to process. I’m so grateful to PSJA ISD for helping make my dreams achievable.” 

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Like Villicana, through partnerships with South Texas College and other higher education partners, more than 3,500 PSJA ISD high school students are enrolled in college courses each semester through the district’s nationally -recognized Early College Program. Despite the pandemic, college courses continued virtually for all students. 

In addition, started in the fall of 2018, the PSJA Institutes provide students in-depth knowledge and hands-on experiences in various careers. As part of the Institutes, students receive one-to-one mentorship from professionals in the field, learn what it takes to receive the degrees needed to excel in the profession, attend special workshops, job shadowing and internship opportunities in the career of their choice. 

“Congratulations to Ana for this award! It clearly shows her hard work and dedication to her studies,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “At PSJA ISD we take pride in preparing our students for high school, college, and beyond. Having our students receive competitive scholarships such as this one, demonstrates the caliber of education available to all of our students.” 

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