Houston, TX– May 1, 2019 – Today, KIPP and the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation (SGFF) announced that KIPP Texas students Amanda Abeja (San Antonio), Elmer Cruz (Houston), Nayeli Garcia (Austin), Yodit Goshu (Houston), and Edward Ramirez (Houston), have been selected as recipients of the 2019 Dave Goldberg Scholarship. These students are among 15 students who were selected from 290 applicants nationwide and will join the first 30 Goldberg scholars chosen last year from the Class of 2018.
The Goldberg Scholarship Program was established by the SGFF in October 2017 to support KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) graduating high school seniors across the country who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and achievement. The scholarship honors the legacy of Dave Goldberg by supporting a new generation of leaders who embody Dave’s qualities of leadership, resilience, achievement, generosity, kindness, independent thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.
“Dave believed in the power of community, the importance of kindness, and above all, that every child deserves a quality education. This program reflects those beliefs, and our family is truly honored to partner with KIPP to support these remarkable students,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. “We can’t think of a better way to honor Dave’s memory than by giving students who share his best qualities the opportunities he believed they deserved.”
As a Goldberg Scholar, Amanda, Elmer, Nayeli, and Yodit will receive a unique combination of financial support and mentoring during their college experience. Highlights include:
• A “Goldberg Mentor” to provide advice and support on a regular basis throughout college
• Financial support totaling approximately $15,000 a year to cover a range of non-tuition needs not traditionally covered by college-based financial aid
• Support from “Goldberg Connectors” – a network of professionals who will help scholars secure summer internships and job opportunities
• An annual “Leadership Weekend,” where scholars will build skills to prepare for college and meet leaders in their chosen fields
“The Goldberg Scholarship program is an incredible opportunity for our KIPP students,” said Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation. “These young future leaders have worked tremendously hard and we are so proud that they will receive the support they need to change the world for generations to come.”
Amanda is passionate about foreign relations between the U.S. and Latin American countries, and she hopes to one day work for the U.S. Foreign Services Department. During her time to KIPP University Prep, Amanda exhibited her leadership capabilities as president of NHS, manager of the track team, and her extensive involvement as a school ambassador. As school ambassador, Amanda gave more than 100 tours to visitors ranging from potential donors to low-income, non-English-speaking families.
Elmer is an incoming freshman at MIT. He plans to earn a degree in electrical engineering and one day start an organization that helps underserved students realize their unlimited potential. At the Awty International School in Houston, Elmer centered his extracurricular activities around helping others, from serving as VP of a peer-tutoring club to consistently playing the keyboard at his church and advocating for low-income students to have more access to technology at his school.
During her time in high school, Nayeli volunteered to teach kids about science at a local children’s museum and learned coding skills through Kode with Klossy. Nayeli also served as president of National Honor Society (NHS), chief of staff at Science NHS, and manager of the volleyball team. These experiences inspired Nayeli to pursue a career at the intersection of STEM and education, and she plans to study genetics in college to reach that goal.
Yodit is an alumna of KIPP Houston High School. She is eager to pursue a career as a pharmacist to help underserved communities access medicine. Yodit has already started improving the lives of others, logging more than 170 hours of volunteer work at local hospitals and other community organizations. In high
school, she served as treasurer of the African Student Association, manager of her school’s dance team, and VP of finance for the Student Body Association. In recognition of Yodit’s intense mission to acquire knowledge, she received the Advisory Award for Hunger.
Edward is a graduate of KIPP Houston High School. In addition to serving as VP of his class and co-captain of the dance team, Edward founded his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance to create a safe space for the LGBTQ community and volunteered at a local elementary school. He is also a talented artist, earning the YES!
Magazine Powerful Voice Essay award and the KIPP Krew Co-Ed Varsity Male Dancer of the Year distinction. Edward is passionate about using business as a force for good in low-income communities and he plans to study business and marketing in college to further that interest.
“These KIPPsters represent what KIPP stands for – it is about creating access and opportunity for dedicated, hard-working students who are in pursuit of a brighter future for themselves and their families. This generous scholarship opportunity will set each of these students up for success as they persist in their
college journey that has only just begun,” said Sonya Ramirez, Managing Director of the KIPP Through College program in Houston.
The 15 recipients of the Goldberg Scholarship have attended KIPP schools in eight communities: Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York City, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Tulsa. All recipients are students of color. Many will be the first in their families to attend college. Any student who attended a
KIPP school for middle school or high school and earned above a 3.0 GPA was eligible to apply.
“The newest class of Goldberg Scholars is incredibly impressive. They will become our future leaders – and carry forward the legacy of Dave’s life and this program,” said Rob Goldberg, Dave’s brother and Founder and CEO of Fresno. “This scholarship honors his passion for how new ideas can improve people’s lives – and how we’re all in this together – in a way that would have made him really proud.”
SGFF selected the national KIPP network of public charter schools as its partner for the Dave Goldberg Scholarship program because of KIPP’s proven track record of helping students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, and character strengths necessary to succeed in college and life. KIPP currently operates 28 public charter schools throughout the Houston area, and 52 across the state. KIPP students graduate from colleges at a rate that is above the national average for all students, and approximately four times the national average for students from similar economic backgrounds nationwide.
About the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation
The Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation works to build a more equal and resilient world.
SGFF brings people together to support each other through three key initiatives: LeanIn.Org, OptionB.Org,
and the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program.
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 224 public charter schools dedicated to
preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP
schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994
as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll 96,000 students in all grades from PreK
through high school. Nationwide, KIPP students complete their bachelor’s degree at a rate of 35
percent, comparable to the national average for all students and approximately three times higher than
the average for students from low-income families.
About KIPP Texas Public Schools
KIPP Texas Public Schools is a nonprofit public charter school network, dedicated to preparing students
in educationally underserved communities for college success and choice-filled lives. Today, KIPP Texas
operates 52 public charter schools educating over 27,700 students across four regions – Austin, Dallas-
Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.