Texas Border Business
PHARR – Two seniors participating in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD’s (PSJA ISD) Early College Program have been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University with full-ride QuestBridge National College Match Scholarships.
Mariano Salcedo from PSJA Southwest Early College High School was accepted to MIT and Melanny Garcia from PSJA North Early College High School will be attending Stanford University. Both seniors are part of the PSJA Early College Program and will be graduating with Associate Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics from South Texas College in May 2020, respectively.
The 2019 QuestBridge National College Match is a national program that connects high-achieving, low-income high school seniors with full four-year scholarships to the nation’s top colleges.
Match Scholarship Recipients are admitted early to QuestBridge college partners with full 4-year scholarships that are provided by the colleges and universities, ensuring these students are able to attend these top universities.
Earlier this year, Salcedo was selected from a pool of 2,300 applicants from across the nation to participate in the highly coveted six-month Online Science, Technology, and Engineering Community (MOSTEC) program at MIT. In addition to MIT, Salcedo is the National Honor Society Vice-President, is a member of the National Hispanic Honor Society and has competed as part of his school’s UIL Robotics and Debate team. The 18-year-old founded the PSJA Southwest ECHS SAT Club and helps as a Teacher Assistant in AP Calculus in Physics.
According to Salcedo, he first became interested in MIT when he participated in the PSJA University & Ivy League Summer Tours. Offered in partnership with the Texas Graduate Center, the tours offer PSJA freshmen and sophomore students the opportunity to visit numerous Ivy League university campuses or medical schools to learn more about the programs offered and the admissions process.
“Thank you to my PSJA Family for the Early College Program,” said Salcedo. “I know knowledge transfers anywhere and the program has prepared me for all future rigorous classes I will need to take. PSJA gives us everything we need to succeed. We just need to take advantage of the opportunities.”
Like Salcedo, Garcia will be attending Stanford University where she plans to study Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her ultimate goal is to work for NASA. While at PSJA North ECHS, she has served in various leadership roles such as Senior Class President, National Honor Society Vice-President, lead character for PSJA North Theatre’s production of Disney’s Frozen, and works as a Math Tutor.
“This is such a blessing,” said the 17-year-old. “I have been working for this my entire life. Thank you to everyone, my parents, teachers, and our Financial Aid Officers for helping my dream come true.”