TFCU Gives $12,000 in Scholarships to 12 Deserving El Paso Students
Everything we do at TFCU is based on our founding principle and philosophy of “People Helping People”. We understand that the pursuit of a higher education comes with financial requirements that can be challenging for students and their families to meet. As a pillar in the community that values education, it is our pleasure to announce the recipients of the 2021 TFCU Scholarship. Congratulations scholars, we hope you continue to excel in your studies and achieve your education goals.
Eleanor Schoenbrun – Awarded $2,000 in honor of The Charles Hart Memorial Scholarship
Eleanor Ann Schoenbrun recently graduated from Franklin High School as the 2021 Class Salutatorian. She is now attending Yale University to study Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, with an additional goal of becoming the first doctor in her family. “Although I am no too sure on my specialty yet, I enjoy orthopedic surgery, dermatology, and reconstructive surgery.” She has shared her passion for community service with the city of El Paso as founder of Pennies FUR Pets and Kans for Kids where she raised over $56,000 for homeless pets and $65,000 worth of food for children facing food insecurity. At Franklin, Eleanor was actively involved and held various leadership positions from Future Business Leaders of America to Franklin Star of the West Marching Band and Franklin Feature Twirlers. Eleanor is most looking forward to growing in and outside of the classroom, finding her niche and making new connections through her passions, being on campus, but most importantly, “having snow!!”
Sydney Puentes – Awarded $1,000
Sydney Puentes is on her way to achieving her dreams of continuing her education through the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. Sydney looks forward to combining her interest in design and art with her enjoyment of serving her community by studying Landscape Architecture. “I feel that through Architecture I can put that passion into creating spaces that will last for future generations and have a positive, lasting impact on the community” When Sydney finds time away from her studies, she enjoys running, baking, and most of all crossword puzzles. She is ecstatic about being a part of the Aggie Family and experiencing Texas A&M for the next four years.
Aubrey Urquidi – Awarded $1,000
Aubrey Urquidi describes herself as a hardworking individual who has put in the work to achieve a 4.0 GPA and Top 10% in her graduating class from Bel Air High School. Her ambition is clear and extends from her studies in the Emergency Medical Technician Program, to her hobbies as section leader of the drumline and Indoor Percussion. Aubrey has taken and passed the National Registry Exam, making her an Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT) at the age of 19. She hopes to continue excelling in the medical field at the University of Texas at El Paso in pursuit of a Master’s degree to become a Nurse Practitioner and work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In addition to her medical studies, Aubrey has also set her goal to receive an Associate’s Degree in American Sign Language to become an Interpreter.
Sarai Gutierrez – Awarded $1,000
As Sarai Gutierrez reaches towards her aspirations of becoming a surgeon with intentions to aid the underserved communities of El Paso, she keeps in mind the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Sarai is attending Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma to major in Medical Molecular Biology and Chemistry. Attaining this pre-medicine degree will help her prepare for the MCAT, an entrance exam required for medical school. “Thanks to God and my amazing parents, I am really excited about being able to travel out of state to pursue my higher education. I am overwhelmingly passionate about being able to break stigmas placed on low-income first-generation students.” Sarai looks forward to her future with a new found expertise, as well as returning to her roots in Horizon City and El Paso to contribute to organizations such as Upward Bound, RotaCare Free Clinic, Project Vida Health Care, and the Community Medical Center.
Osbaldo Moreno – Awarded $1,000
Osbaldo Moreno has translated his passion for helping others and impacting the lives around him into his goal of becoming a pharmacist. He plans to start this journey by majoring in Biological Studies with a concentration in Biomedicine at the University of Texas at El Paso. Attaining his degree will be the stepping stone towards enrolling in Medical School to study Urology. Within the next four years, Osbaldo shares that he is “Looking forward to meeting new people, helping out the community more, and having a great college experience.”
Zara Montoya – Awarded $1,000
Zara Montoya is an aspiring concept artist currently attending Baylor University as a college junior. She is working on her major in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting and a minor in Business Administration. Zara wishes to shine a light on the importance of keeping art alive and well. “I crave to learn and develop my craft to create meaningful art to people who seek to learn about themselves and others, to present ideas, and to maintain perspectives that are thoughtful and well-rounded.” Stated Zara. She looks forward to using her talents to serve others by working with movie studios and book publishers.
Dion Banville – Awarded $1,000
Dion Banville enjoys illustrating the history he has discovered within his roots through his writing. His love for the city and people of El Paso has encouraged him to take on a double major of Creative Writing and History at the University of Texas at El Paso. Dion graduated high school and enrolled in Brown University in 1996 but due to the high costs of college tuition, his academic career was put on hold in 2001. Through the changes that the pandemic brought, Dion was able to leave his career in retail management and attend UTEP as a full time student. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree, he hopes to establish or work for a non-profit organization whose mission is to publish the work of marginalized writers including Latinx, immigrant, and transgender people.
Stephan Hernandez – Awarded $1,000
Stephan Hernandez has gotten a head start on his degree by enrolling in the summer semester Pharmacy Program with El Paso Community College. He plans on transferring into the Pharmacy Program at the University of Texas at El Paso and becoming the first in his family to graduate from college. At the age of 17 he already holds a Pharmacy Technician Certification with a position waiting for him at the local Wal-Mart Pharmacy. Stephan has set a high goal for himself to excel in his career so that he can one day open his own Pharmacy and hire aspiring individuals like himself.
Kiani Liggins – Awarded $1,000
Kiani Liggins is looking to make a change in the El Paso community by de-stigmatizing conversations around mental health with her work as a Nurse Practitioner. Her love of learning and interest in making a difference in people’s lives is what attracted her to this field, “It is important to be on top of new skills to provide the best care to my patients. Throughout my journey in nursing school, I find my commitment to the field has become even stronger.” Kiani studies at the College of Texas Tech Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing where she enjoys spending her extra time staying active, crafting DIY’s, and taking care of her small plant named “Randall”.
Briana Bernal – Awarded $1,000
Briana Bernal has always taken pleasure in helping others, whether it’s contributing through her duties at home or donating her time as a volunteer for the Special Olympics. She understands the importance of “People helping People” and how one’s own willingness to give contributes to the bigger picture of bringing people together. Her dream and career goal is to become a physical therapist so that she can continue to practice the values that are most important to her through her day to day work.
Jenny Grajeda – Awarded $1,000
Jenny Grajeda may just tell you that she was born to be a nurse. From her early years in elementary school, Jenny recalls herself as being the designated “nurse aid”. Ready to lend a helping hand at any moment, Jenny would volunteer to take her fellow classmate to the nurse’s office and stand by until they felt better. Helping and caring for others brings Jenny true joy. So for her, being a nurse just makes sense. “The idea of helping, interacting, changing, and eventually saving someone’s life has been vital to me, especially since healthcare workers have helped my dad in so many ways.” Jenny will be attending the University of Texas at El Paso this school year to major in nursing and complete her pre-requisites before applying to the UTEP Nursing Program. “In these next 4 years, I am most looking forward to growing and learning new things that will better prepare me for whatever God has planned for me.”
Estella Sebastian – Awarded $1,000
Estella Sebastian is following her dreams as well as her roots by attending the University of Hawai’i at Hilo to double major in Psychology and Hawaiian Studies. Born and raised in the borderland and always being surrounded by her Hispanic family and friends, Estella has not had the opportunity to truly experience her Polynesian culture. By taking Hawaiian Studies, she looks forward to learning more about herself, her ancestry, and culture. After completing her first four years of college, Estella plans on continuing her education by attaining a Master’s Degree and becoming a Therapist. To her, helping others with their mental and emotion well-being is most important, “To help those is to be the kinder soul that makes the world full of evil, feel pure, and that is what I plan to continue to do for my community and those around me.”