Houston, Texas – May 5, 2020 – iMentor and KIPP, a network of public charter schools, announced six students from KIPP Texas Public Schools as winners of the Amplify Scholarship, which provides KIPP students and alumni with financial and counseling support in the transition to college. Adrian Becerra, Angela Lopez-Alabarran, Salvador Gloria-Moreno, Martin Ta, Osvaldo Soto, and Samantha Moreno are among 15 selected to join the second cohort of the program.
The Amplify Scholars Program was established by KIPP and iMentor in 2018 to support KIPP graduating high school seniors across the country who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and achievement. The scholarship supports leaders of tomorrow, amplifying the voices of students who embody the values of leadership, excellence, civic-mindedness, and the power of relationships.
“This group of KIPP students embodies many of the core values of iMentor – demonstrating excellence, leadership, and a commitment to the power of relationships to transform our society. Each student has a unique story and we are thrilled to support these graduating high school seniors as they continue to and through college,” said Mike O’Brien, CEO of iMentor. “I look forward to seeing how our scholars use the skills they develop to impact their communities.”
KIPP currently operates 242 public charter schools educating over 100,000 students across 20 states and the District of Columbia. KIPP students graduate from four-year colleges at a rate that is above the national average for all students, and approximately three times the average for students from similar economic backgrounds nationwide.
“Our partnership with iMentor continues to cultivate a new generation of changemakers,” said Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation. “The Amplify Scholarship allows our students to grow professionally through mentorship and focus on their learning experience without having to carry the financial burden of non-tuition expenses especially during this uncertain time.”
Scholars will receive a unique combination of financial support and mentoring during their four-year college experience. Highlights include:
- A mentor to provide ongoing support 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.
The 15 recipients of the Amplify Scholarship have attended KIPP schools in eight communities: Baltimore, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Southern California. All of the recipients are students of color and many will be the first in their families to attend college. Any student who attended a KIPP school for either middle or high school and had above a 3.0 GPA was eligible to apply for the Amplify Scholarship.
Adrian Hernandez Becerra is a senior at KIPP Austin Brave High School in Austin, Texas. He aspires to become a Biomedical Engineer, but for the time being will focus on Computer Science at Colgate University. He is proud to be the first in his family to attend a four-year university.
“I will be able to take an internship of study abroad program on a summer semester. I will also be able to focus a lot more on studying for my classes instead of working to pay off my personal expenses and tuition,” said Adrian
Angela Lopez-Alabarran is a senior at KIPP Austin Collegiate and will be attending University of Texas at Austin. She is an advocate within her community through participating in Changing Lives Youth Theater Ensemble: a nonprofit theater program. Through this program, she has been able to teach over 3,000 students around the Austin area about the signs of a healthy and unhealthy relationship as well as hone her skills as a public speaker. She is passionate about becoming an epidemiologist which will allow her to continue to inform her community, conduct research, and influence health policy to ensure that underrepresented groups have access to high-quality health care.
“As a first-generation college student it will be extremely helpful to have a mentor that will help guide and advice through my journey in college. Also, having access to a computer, which I am fortunate enough to receive from the Amplify Scholarship, will become very useful not only for my classes but for conducting research as well,” said Angela.
Salvador Gloria-Moreno is a senior at KIPP Austin Collegiate with plans on majoring in Biology at University of Texas at Austin. He aspires to pursue a doctoral degree to become a research professor. In addition to loving art and science, he believes education is a significant factor in people’s lives that can help express creativity, innovation, individuality, and help bring great contributions to the world, something which no one should be deprived of. His experiences as the National Honor Society’s Treasurer, Science National Honor Society member, Art Club president, and KIPP Austin Steel Drum Band’s drum major allowed him to gain a sense of leadership and understanding during his time in high school, which he plans to use to make an impact on the world.
“I know that the Amplify Scholarship will offer many forms of support, which will aid me in my journey through postsecondary education. Being an Amplify recipient will encourage me to give my best effort into performing well academically. Also, seeing the types and amount of support given to students inspires me to give a high level of support to my future students once I become an educator,” said Salvador.
Martin Ta is a KIPP Houston High School senior with plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. He is eager to be involved in cultural organizations, art clubs, and STEM clubs in college. At his high school, Martin was an 11th grade student government representative and Senior Class President. He was also involved in the Robotics Club and cultural events such as Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month. In the summer of 2019, he participated in the Georgetown Summer Immersion Program which prepared him for college applications and campus life. Outside of school, he is involved in his community through volunteer events and his Vietnamese youth group.
“It has always been my goal to attend college without financially burdening my hardworking parents; through this scholarship, I can finally accomplish that goal. I hope to one day help other first-generation students in their education as this scholarship has done for me,” said Martin.
Osvaldo Soto is a senior at KIPP Northeast College Preparatory in Houston, TX and plans to attend University of Texas at Austin in the fall. He is eager to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field and discover new passions in life while in college. In high school, Osvaldo participated in annual Math Bowls held by KIPP schools and was a part of the Accenture Business Club, which has greatly shaped his leadership skills.
“Besides providing financial support for college expenses, the Amplify Scholarship will allow me to meet KIPP students across the United States and engage in new experiences. As it pertains to my education and career interests, this scholarship will grant me access to educational resources that would allow me to succeed in a post-secondary institution and a STEM-related work field,” said Osvaldo.
Samantha Moreno is a senior at KIPP Generations Collegiate in Houston, TX. At KIPP, she is in the top 10% of her class while holding leadership positions in several extracurricular activities. Samantha has served as the captain of her Cheerleading team, Softball team and President of the National Honor Society. She aspires to major in nursing and become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. She is passionate about advocating for her community and plans to commit to bettering the future of medical sciences.
“The Amplify scholarship has opened doors to new unbelievable opportunities and has given me the confidence to achieve my lifelong dream. I will use this opportunity to show that first generation students can break generational stigmas and understand their dreams can be a reality. I hope that one day I will be able to impact a student’s education, in the same way the Amplify Scholarship has for me,” said Samantha.
The Amplify Scholarship is a natural extension of the important mission of iMentor – to empower first-generation students from low income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. Even more exciting is the opportunity to partner with KIPP Through College, whose mission and work has already been and continues to be a powerful change agent in the lives of KIPP students.
The Amplify Scholarship is tailored to bring the experience and best practices of both iMentor and KIPP Through College together to support students’ success to and through college. The program provides key supports to students to help them successfully navigate college, develop career-readiness skills, and transition into the professional world.
iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower first-generation students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. iMentor was founded in 1999 by John Griffin, Richard Buery and Matt Klein. Launched with just 49 students in a single school in the South Bronx, today, since its founding in 1999 iMentor has served more than 33,000 students through our direct-service programs in Baltimore, the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York City, and through our partnerships with local non-profit organizations that implement our model in communities across the country. Learn more about iMentor HERE.
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 242 public charter schools that are 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 students in all grades from pre-K through high school.
KIPP Texas is a growing network of free, joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose – college, career, and beyond. Start your child’s journey today by completing our online application.