Alexis Chaet of Chantilly (left) and Anahely Cruz of New Market (right), winners of the 2012 VAHCC/Capital One scholarship
(Richmond, Va.) The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce proudly announced the 2012 Capital One Scholarship winners this week, Alexis Chaet from Freedom High School in Chantilly, VA nd Anahely Cruz from Stonewall Jackson High School in New Market, VA. Both members of the National Honors Society and active student tutors, Chaet and Cruz will be recognized at the Hispanic Gala in Richmond on September 12th, at the black-tie event which celebrates Hispanic Hispanic Month.
Cruz, a first-generation Latina American, entered the US school system speaking Mixteco (not Spanish) as a first language, an indigenous language of Mexico. She will go on to be the first in her family to attend college with this scholarship, and wishes to study special education. Currently, she volunteers her time translating at a local food pantry, volunteers at nursing homes, and will soon become a black belt in martial arts.
Chaet, valedictorian at Freedom High School, has initiated a before-and-after school tutoring program in her community, and worked abroad for relief in Haiti. She wishes to study to become a pediatric physician to help improvrished and disaster-struck communities around the world.
“I have learned from my parents that education is the key to unlocking many doors in life,” says Chaet. She adds, “Ihave always felt an obligation to give back to the world for all the blessings and opportunities it has laid before me. This internal drive has fed my desire to become a pediatric physician in the future, so that through my healing hands I can make a difference in the lives of others.”
Cruz shares a challenge many first-generation immigrants face as students, “My parents could not give me the support that I needed to learn English because they Worked long hours to Support our family, and I could never ask them to help me with my homework because they did not understand. It was difficult, but with determination and the help of my teachers I learned English. I have overcome my adversity and it has made me stronger.”
This same determination has made both Cruz and Chaet inspiring role models at any stage of life and education.