Portland High School Senior Peter Za Receives Sallie Mae’s
Bridging the Dream Scholarship
Scholarship Recognizes High School Juniors and Seniors Who Excel
Inside and Outside the Classroom but Need Financial Support to Make
PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Peter Za, a senior at Cleveland High School, spent Tuesday afternoon as
he usually does, studying with the other members of his homework club at
the Kateri Park Apartments — but study time turned to party time
yesterday when he learned he is the most recent winner of a $25,000 Bridging
the Dream Scholarship from Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving,
planning, and paying for college company.
On hand for the surprise announcement were Za’s mother and sister; staff
and volunteers from Catholic Charities of Oregon, which runs the
homework club; Jennifer Rockwood, a long-time volunteer at the Cleveland
High School College and Career Center; and representatives from Sallie
Mae, who brought pizza for the club and surprised Za with the news and a
very large check.
“As I’ve worked with Peter, I see a young man who is committed to
getting an education, and I cannot think of a student more deserving of
this scholarship,” said Rockwood, who nominated Za for the scholarship.
“In the eight years I’ve spent at the College and Career Center, I have
never worked with a student who was as motivated, hard-working, and
passionate about caring for his family and community.”
Za, 18, is taking the most rigorous academic path available at Cleveland
High School, where he maintains a 4.0 GPA. He is an international
baccalaureate certificate candidate, a member of the varsity soccer
team, a volunteer math tutor, and a drummer at his church’s worship
services. Za, who is fluent in several languages, also actively works
with others in his community who are learning English.
“I am so incredibly grateful to Jenny for nominating me for this
scholarship and to Sallie Mae for providing me the chance to continue my
education,” said Za. “College is possible now, and I look forward to the
new opportunities it will bring.”
Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship recognizes inspiring high
school juniors and seniors nationwide who excel in academics, athletics,
community service, or school activities, but whose financial
circumstances may not permit them to fulfill their college dreams. This
year, Sallie Mae will award $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarships to
five recipients selected from nominations submitted by high school
counselors and community leaders from across the U.S.
This is the second year of Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship
Program. In addition to company contributions, Sallie Mae employees
organized a host of fundraising events, raising more than $57,000 to
support the scholarship recipients.
“The Bridging the Dream Scholarship exemplifies, in name and intent,
what Sallie Mae is all about, and we are proud to be a part of a
community of school counselors, teachers, volunteers, and others who see
the potential in young people and want to help,” said Martha Holler,
senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “Peter’s devotion to helping others
in his community speaks volumes about the kind of young man he is, and
we look forward to seeing all that he will accomplish in the future.”
Za was interviewed on Facebook Live shortly after he was surprised with
the Bridging the Dream Scholarship. Watch the replay of his reaction on Facebook.com/SallieMae.
For more information about Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarships,
or join the conversation by using #BridgingTheDream.
For more information about saving, planning, and paying for college,
Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and
paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just
around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible
personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards,
scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail
banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com.
Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are
not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
Liz Margolis, 302-451-0598