Monroe Clark Helping Students Get a Head Start on College

Two Monroe Clark Middle School graduates have received a healthy start to their college scholarship fund, thanks to the campus’s English Learner Advisory Committee and Parent Center.

Alejandra Luevano and Stephanie Phung, both freshmen at Hoover High, won a scholarship competition last year as eighth grade students at Monroe Clark. They received their $500 scholarship award at a recent ceremony in the Monroe Clark Parent Center.

Parent Center Director Rocio Agiss said the goal of the scholarship program is to encourage kids to continue their education.

Last year 25 applicants wrote essays expressing their thoughts on the benefits of belonging to a multi-cultural community, their interaction within the community, and the advantages of learning different languages. Alejandra’s and Stephanie’s were chosen as the most outstanding. Both say they will save their $500 awards to help pay for college and will continue to look for further scholarship opportunities.

Stephanie says she wants to attend Stanford University and study either psychology or anesthesiology. She plays the flute in the Hoover High School band and enjoys math and English. She has already calculated she will have at least a 4.6 grade point average when she graduates, if everything goes according to plan. Stephanie grew up in City Heights and is the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants.

Alejandra’s goal is to attend San Diego State University after graduating from Hoover. She would like to study astronomy or something to do with the ocean. She is preparing to enroll in the ROTC program and wants to try out for the dance, soccer, and swim teams. Her parents are Mexican immigrants, but Alejandra says she is very interested in her friends’ cultures. She says her friends have been teaching her Vietnamese and Thai and that she would someday like to learn French.

The English Learner Advisory Committee works in partnership with the Parent Center to advise the principal on issues pertaining to learning a language. They raise funds throughout the year through events and donations. They will be awarding two more scholarships to graduating students this year.