A 17-year-old Georgetown girl is one of 606 students nationwide to receive the 2014 Horatio Alger State Scholarship, an award that recognizes students who excel academically in the face of great adversity.
Ana Ramirez-Irineo, a senior at Sussex Central High School, will use the $6,000 award for tuition at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she plans to study architecture.
A member of the National Honor Society, Sussex Central’s swim team, the community service group By Teens For Teens and the college readiness group Classic Upward Bound, Ramirez-Irineo comes from a single-parent, multi-child home.
Collectively, the 2014 Horatio Alger State Scholarship recipients have maintained an average GPA of 3.6 and mean SAT score of 1,593, while coming from a household with an average annual income of $21,482. In addition to the award, recipients are also afforded access to a variety of resources including college preparatory support, mentor programs and guidance and crisis counselors.
Q Why did you apply for this scholarship?
A Some people don’t expect much from me or see me moving onto something bigger because I’m Hispanic and I have a single mom. I’m also applying for a lot of scholarships to pay for college.
Q Why do you want to study architecture?
A I like to design things and be creative. My dream job would combine design with helping others build houses. It would be similar to Habitat for Humanity; but with more design and creativity.
Q What attracted you to Drexel University?
A I like Drexel’s co-operative education program. They provide on-the-job experience which makes you much more attractive to employers. I also want to live in the city where there are a lot of opportunities, there’s a lot to do and life is more fast-paced.
Q You’re graduating soon. What was your favorite thing about high school?
A My favorite part was all the friends I’ve made and all the connections I’ve built with teachers and students.
Q What advice do you have for other students who come from challenging backgrounds?
A Find something you enjoy doing and keep doing it. Try your best and don’t give up. Let your weaknesses become your strengths.