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    Seattle Scholarship Fund Recipients Share Their Plans for the Future
    Posted on 05/24/2019
    scholarship recipients in the JSCEE Auditorium holding plaques

    Each year, since 1974, the Seattle Schools Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to Seattle Public Schools graduates who have overcome significant life challenges to achieve their dreams.

    Here are a few of their stories:



    Alayah Kayles Prom, Franklin High School

    Alayah Kayles PromAlayah Kayles Prom grew up with her grandmother and uncle, who are both immigrants from Cambodia. “My grandmother and my uncle, they raised me and helped me to get where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without them,” she says. Alayah struggled with depression throughout high school, but through it all, she has displayed enormous resilience. In addition to the Seattle Scholarship, Alayah has also received another scholarship from a community organization to aid in her studies. “My grandmother came to the Scholarship Ceremony, and she was proud of me,” she says.

    Victor Xante Morales, Franklin High School

    Victor Xante Morales

    In addition to working 40-hour weeks, Victor Xante Morales has been excelling in school, and he has been doing this all throughout high school. On Fridays and weekends, he sometimes works until 2-3am. Since moving to the United States, Victor had to adjust to a new life without his parents, learn a new language in a new setting, all while juggling a full-time job at a restaurant in downtown Seattle, and whenever he can, Victor sends money back to his family back home. Since moving to the US, he has been living with his brothers, and he credits them for where he is today. “They reminded me that school is important, and that I shouldn’t give up.”

    Marlon E. Givens, NOVA Project

    Marlon Givens

    Marlon E. Givens is a student at NOVA Project, and when given a compliment, he will respond humbly. “Thank you, but I think that’s more objective than subjective.” When he speaks, he chooses his words carefully and purposefully, and he also takes his studies seriously. He takes meticulous notes, asks questions, and continuously seeks to understand as he strives to become the best version of himself. A few years ago, Marlon suffered a brain aneurysm. “I thought I was in the hospital for a few months, but my family told me I was there for a long time,” he says. “It was wake-up call for me. Once I left the hospital, I wanted to make better decisions.” Marlon was inspired by the medical professionals that helped his recovery at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and he wants to pursue studies in the medical field and specifically work in rehabilitation therapy.

    Delina A. Haile, Seattle World School

    Delina Haile

    Delina A. Haile moved to the United States from Eritrea with her mother. When they first arrived, they lived in a shelter, and it was there that she inspired to become an educator. “I used to volunteer to help the kids with homework and tutor them. That’s why I want to become a teacher.” She is grateful to her mother for her courage and the sacrifices she made for them. Delina works after school at a local grocery store and has managed to handle both school and work successfully for the last few years. She is determined to succeed and has displayed enormous maturity and resolve in her journey thus far.

    Clifford Chery and Elizabeth Hernandez Bellow, West Seattle High School

    Elizabeth Hernandez and Clifford Chery

    Clifford Chery

    He plans to enroll at the University of Washington, Bothell and major in education. “I want to be a teacher either in middle school or high school, and I want to teach ELA or Languages. I want to help other students like me and be a mentor to them.” He is grateful to his family and community for being a source of support in his journey. “God, my mom, especially my grandma, my teachers, everybody really has been there for me.”Clifford Chery immigrated from Haiti three years ago and remembers the earthquake that devastated the country on January 12, 2010. He remembers the date vividly, as it impacted his life significantly. “My uncle passed, my friends died. I’m a survivor,” Chery says. When he moved to the United States, he had to learn a new language, navigate unfamiliar environments, all while adjusting to a new life and dealing with the trauma that affected his past.

    Elizabeth Hernandez Bellow

    Elizabeth Hernandez Bellow moved to the United States from Mexico when she was just 7 years old. She struggled to learn English. “When I tried to speak it, I was made of, but I had a lot of friends that helped me out,” she says. Elizabeth wants to study physical therapy. She is enthusiastic about sports and wants to go into a health-related career. Her motivation? “I want to help my grandparents back in Mexico. I want to do something good in life and give back. I can set up a little clinic in the region where they live.” She also is grateful for the sacrifices of her family. “They gave up everything to give us the education they didn’t get as children.”

    Congratulations to all the 2019 Seattle Scholarship Fund Recipients!

    We plan to feature more stories from 2019 Seattle Scholarship Recipients in a future graduation feature. Stay tuned for more inspirational stories from our exceptional students!