Martin Martinez, a member of The University of Texas-Pan American's Upward Bound program and a student at J. Economedes High School in Edinburg, has received a $20,000 scholarship from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
Martinez is one of 300 students in the country to receive the money through the foundation's Dell Scholars program. The program helps students continue their education for the next six years by providing scholarships, technology, resources and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to obtain a college degree.
"We are so proud of Martin for this exciting recognition from a national scholarship program designed for a special kind of student," said Manuel Ochoa, UTPA Upward Bound director. "Martin is remarkable in his determination to succeed, complete a college readiness program, and pursue a college degree to realize his goals."
Upward Bound is a federally funded academic enhancement program designed to assist first-generation or low-income high school students in developing their potential for success in a post-secondary institution. The program includes classroom instruction throughout the school year and a six-week summer session on the UTPA campus.
Dell Scholars - most of whom are the first in their families to go to college - participated in college readiness programs and maintain at least a 2.4 grade point average on a 4.0 scale while handling responsibilities at home or in their communities.
Other requirements include graduating from an accredited high school, showing financial need and intending to enter a bachelor's degree program at an accredited institution of higher learning in the fall.
"We award low-income or financially underserved students who perform better than their GPAs or test scores may indicate, and who have overcome some significant obstacles to pursue their education," said Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, of the Dell Scholars Program at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. "Our program and support constantly evolve based on our experiences with students and schools, but we continue to provide these students with unprecedented support for everything they need to obtain a college degree and graduate with far less debt than the average college student."
To learn more about UTPA's Upward Bound program, visit http://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/dess_home/casp_home/ub_home.
For a complete listing of the class of 2010 Dell Scholars, visit www.dellscholars.org.
About the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin and New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $650 million to global children's issues and community initiatives to date.