- Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
PSJA Education Foundation awards more than $340K in scholarships
For the 2020-2021 school year, the nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization awarded a total of 152 scholarships to PSJA ISD seniors totaling $341,000 of free money, as well as continued to support the PSJA Library Services district-wide literacy initiatives awarding them with a $17,000 grant.
“We commend these students for their tremendous dedication and as an organization it makes us happy to help make their educational dreams come true,” said the PSJA Education Foundation President and PSJA ISD School Board Vice-President Jesus “Jesse” Vela, Jr. “Over the last 5 years, we’ve been able to continue giving back thanks to generous donors. We appreciate the help and support of everyone who contributes to this important cause.”
Founded in 2013, the PSJA Education Foundation comprised of mostly proud PSJA ISD Alumni, has helped enhance educational opportunities for the youth and families of PSJA ISD thanks to sponsorships and donations from alumni, local businesses, and district staff members through monthly payroll deductions.
“We sincerely thank the PSJA Education Foundation for going above and beyond to give back to our students and staff in form of scholarships and grants,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients as they soon go off to make their post-secondary education goals a reality.”
The most coveted award given to the top-rated applicant per high school is the Joel "Joey" Gonzalez Presidential Scholarship worth a total of $16,000 for a four-year period. This was the fourth year this commemorative scholarship, named to honor the memory of the Foundation's first President, was given to five PSJA ISD graduates: Jessica Martinez Magana from PSJA ECHS; Jennifer Bernal from PSJA North ECHS; Natali Acha from PSJA Memorial ECHS; Sofia Leal Cavazos from PSJA Southwest ECHS; and Dayana Gonzalez from PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS.
Recipient and PSJA Soutwest Valedictorian Sofia Leal expressed her gratitude to the PSJA Education Foundation and all who make these scholarships possible.
“The opportunities available to me are an extension of the work of many other people,” said Leal. “I am honored to be a Joel ‘Joey’ Gonzalez Presidential Scholarship recipient precisely because of the name it bears. The fact that there was a person whose actions and presence could inspire others to help their community goes to show that actions of goodwill – big or small - are not out of reach; they all start with the individual, and that means they can start with me."
In addition, the Foundation awarded the 2nd Annual Dr. Daniel P. King Leadership Scholarship worth $10,000 for a four-year period in honor of Retired PSJA ISD Superintendent Dr. Daniel P. King. The recipients were: Alexah Flores from PSJA ECHS; Alexander Guerra from PSJA North ECHS; Jennifer Alvarez from PSJA Memorial ECHS; and Maryann Leal from PSJA Southwest ECHS.
Thanks to the continuing support from generous donors, the PSJA Education Foundation has raised and awarded over $2.1 million to students and educators in PSJA ISD. For more information about the foundation or to learn how to support it, visit www.psjaisd.us/foundation.