Ortiz achieves a dream and receives full ride


Jessica Nunez, Editor-in-Chief

For the average high school senior, college started out as a goal freshmen year and was achieved when they received a letter of acceptance to their desired university or accredited college this year. For senior Edith Ortiz, a dream was more than any other goal, and achievement was more than just acceptance; it was a $75,000 scholarship to Southern Illinois University. After writing a scholarship essay, having several English teachers and librarian, Ms. Lingafelter, look over it, and driving down to SIU in the midst of a snowstorm, Ortiz was granted a full-ride to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

When given the essay question, Ortiz turned to Lingafelter for clarification. The essay was to be written in a letter format as if the recipient was requesting a job position. After being tweaked by Lingafelter, Ortiz also turned to her Rhetoric English teacher, Mr. Newman. Before she knew it, her former English teachers, Mr. Eleveld and Mr. Boles, also tagged along for the editing process. “It was a whole mess of everybody putting their two cents in,” Ortiz said.

After the essay was post-marked on the day it was due, she drove down with her family to SIU for the interview portion of the scholarship. In the midst of a snowstorm, Ortiz and her family found themselves stranded. “We were stuck in the middle of nowhere so it was either go home or keep going. We kept going,” Ortiz said.

She ended up missing the campus tour and introduction but made it just in time for the interview. The interview was less intense than expected, “it was more like ‘tell me how you’re human,” Ortiz said. After that, the rest was history. Out of the 100 other students who participated in this scholarship process, Ortiz and 24 other students were granted this amazing opportunity. “I feel like I just won the lottery,” Ortiz said.

When asked why so many teachers assisted her in this essay Ortiz had this to say: “I feel like I don’t give myself the credit I deserve so I think they saw potential in me.”

Next fall, Ortiz will be the first member in her family to attend college and will be majoring in either Interior or Industrial Design. Ortiz admits that college was not even an option for her until sophomore year. Ortiz also admits to being the oldest of her siblings and cousins. She wants to set an example for them and provide advice for them as they get older. “I’m the daughter of public education. I learned English from a dictionary,” Ortiz said. With this amazing opportunity, she believes she can do whatever she wants now.