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Ralston High School Senior Awarded Full Four-Year Scholarship to Princeton!

RHS students receives a full ride to Princeton

Ralston High School Senior Awarded a Full Four-Year Scholarship to Princeton University!

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Ralston High School Senior Ana Sanchez-Martinez received some exciting news. Through the QuestBridge National College Match program, she was selected to receive a full four-year scholarship to Princeton University! 

QuestBridge connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading institutions of higher education and further life opportunities. By recruiting, developing, and motivating these students — beginning in high school through college to their early career — QuestBridge aims to help talented students attend the nation’s best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their respective careers and communities.

This year, QuestBridge selected 6,885 finalists out of over 18,500 applicants to be considered for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship (Match Scholarship). Ana was one of 1,464 finalists who were recognized as Match Scholarship Recipients. 

“QuestBridge sent an email on December 1st letting finalists know if they were one of the scholarship recipients,” said Sanchez-Martinez. “The first thing I read was congratulations. I started to cry. I relaxed a little and started to read the message. I didn’t read the whole thing because the one thing highlighted was Princeton. I was like, “I GOT INTO PRINCETON! I then went and told my Mom, my coaches, and the rest of my family.”

The Match Scholarship is part of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses. “My plan right now is to major in computer science, with a minor in business,” said Sanchez-Martinez. “I want to be in the technology field, working with AI (artificial intelligence).”

QuestBridge provided Ana with lots of support to help her with the college enrollment process. One of the support systems they provided was two mentors who shared many of the same experiences when they were high school seniors. “My mentors were also first-generation college students, and they were always there guiding me along the way, says Sanchez-Martinez. “They knew the struggles and how to overcome them, what tricks to use, and how to write essays. They were also my emotional support system. If I ever freaked out, they were there and very logical.”   

QuestBridge also provided Ana access to a Facebook support group, with other high school students and mentors involved in the program. Ana met other students from across the nation and was part of a community that supported each other. If someone needed help with an essay or had a question about an application, others from the group could comment or start a chat to help each other out.  

Ana is currently working hard at finishing her last semester at Ralston High School and is excited about her future. When asked what advice she would give students about applying for college, Ana said to keep an open mind. “Students look at these schools and think they are unattainable and then don’t apply because only a small percentage of people get in, said Sanchez-Martinez. “You have to look at how many people apply and then figure out what the actual percentage is that gets accepted. Suddenly, that number isn’t so small. It is not going to hurt to apply.”