Seniors and parents of BVH gathered in the cafeteria on Nov. 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for Scholarship Night: a presentation which explained the scholarship application process. Counselor Olga Castro organized the event, inviting Director of the California Student Opportunity and Access Program Linda Doughty to be the guest speaker.
“The purpose for Scholarship Night is to provide both students and parents guidance on thousands of scholarship opportunities available to students. These types of scholarship events can help students with the step-by-step research process,” Castro said.
Castro states that, though this is the first Scholarship Night that BVH has held, the counselors are planning on making it an annual event. In the meantime, seniors can look towards scholarship bulletins or talk directly with their counselors for further aid regarding scholarships.
“New scholarship bulletins will be posted every month on our school website, Twitter, and Instagram. Students can come see me to schedule an appointment if they need help with a particular scholarship or for scholarship research. Applying for scholarships is a process that takes time and effort,” Castro said.
One of the main goals of the presentation was to stress communication with counselors. Doughty used the analogy of the “squeaky wheel,” which explains that only students who actively seek assistance would end up receiving scholarships.
“I’m not going to do the work for you, but I’m here for you. The squeaky wheel always gets the oil. If you don’t squeak or act like you want something, people are not going to help you. I have given in this county alone, 1.6 million dollars in scholarships. You know who got those scholarships? The squeaky wheel,” Doughty said.
Students who attended Scholarship Night tended to be serious about college and conscious of the price of college tuition, as stated by Castro. Among these seniors was Cecylia Olivo, who will be paying for college without parent assistance. Though she already has applied for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and other forms of financial aid, she hoped to learn about opportunities to help pay for Stanford or the University of California, Davis, her two dream colleges.
“I came to learn about some scholarship websites that I’m not currently using and to try to find the motivation to apply to scholarships. There are plenty out there, but there’s not a lot of time in the day,” Olivo said.
According to Castro, the presentation was well received by students. She states that several parents and students came up to her and, “mentioned how useful and powerful the presentation was for them.” Senior Jacob Babauta stated that after attending this event, he felt more educated about scholarships in general and gave him motivation to apply.
“I feel more inspired to take on these scholarships. I feel like part of why I didn’t apply for scholarships in the past, along with a lot of other people, is because I felt like it was like the lottery. This presentation inspired me to actually go for it, to put myself out there more,” Babauta said.
Similarly, senior Karina Ulloa states that she found the presentation helpful. Her mother encourages her to pursue scholarships to help pay for her and her twin brother’s college fees. The two are both looking towards attending UC schools.
“It’s kind of hard just to pay for the both of us. I’m more motivated because there are a bunch of scholarships in the packet that I want to apply to. I want to be organized now,” Ulloa said.