DOWNEY - Questbridge has truly brought hope and elation to Warren High School finalists Kelly Apaza, Kenitza Carrillo, Jaime Flores, Esteban Garcia, Cindy Marin, Sanjana Narkar, Ashley Rogue, Deborah Won, Priscilla San Jaun and Desiree Greenhouse.Questbridge is an organization and website dedicated to serving today's brightest and under-served youths that have exceeded beyond financial obstacles and demonstrated academic excellence. Through the website, students can have an Internet-based meeting with colleges, employers, scholarship providers and organizations committed to helping exceptional students with lower incomes. If selected, the students will be considered for a full four-year scholarship covering tuition and board to one of the 30 colleges that is partnered with Questbridge, including Yale, Princeton, Standford and MIT, but only upon selection will they be given the scholarship. Two separate essays with no more than 1,000 words combined and an application consisting of recommendations, transcripts, and financial records was to be submitted by Sept. 30. This process required hours and days at the school library filled with Chinese food, hard work and commitment. On Sept. 30 in the Warren library, applicants emitted feelings of anxiety and deflated spirits as the website had crashed. There from 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., the hopeful students were tension ridden as the midnight deadline approached. "Spending those 17 hours at school working nonstop on the application made us closer. We got a feeling of camaraderie," said Esteban Garcia. The students were described as just sitting in front of computers clicking the button for a response from Questbridge. With the website malfunctioning, the school was abuzz with worry as Questbridge had not answered phone calls or emails. Finally, the website finally informed students, teachers and administrators that the deadline was extended to Oct. 3 due to technical difficulties. With relief, the students submitted their applications days before the extended deadline. On Oct. 22, 10 students were announced as finalists for the scholarships and would now need to wait to see if they were accepted into their school of choice. "It's a relief to know that we are taken care for so we are not succumbed to huge debts and can focus our time and energy on studying," said Kenitza Carrillo. Once again, financial documents, transcripts, test scores, and other requirements were submitted on Nov. 1 for the final process. These finalists will hear from their college of choice on Dec. 1 whether or not they will be given a scholarship. "We are so proud of their accomplishments. Never before have we had so many finalists from Warren. Its a tribute how hard they have worked," said AP coordinator Shirley Stewart. "It was a pleasure to work with our students who were so clearly dedicated to seeing this process through," said librarian Sara Nielson. "When I saw how badly they wanted to be selected as finalists, there was no choice but to pitch in and help them make it happen."
********** Published: November 4, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 29