High School Grads Have Until July 15 to Apply for Presidents’ Honors Scholarship

Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Presidents' Honors Scholarship flyer
Viviana Zermeno, Presidents' Honors Scholar

Did you just graduate from high school and want to attend Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) but don’t know how you’ll pay for it? Now is the time to apply for the Presidents’ Honors Scholarship.

The scholarship, which covers tuition up to 15 credit hours per semester for up to four semesters, is for incoming, first-year college students who have a GPA of 3.25 or higher. Students such as Viviana Zermeno. Viviana, a first-generation college student who just completed her first year at EMCC as a Presidents’ Honors Scholar, heard about the scholarship from one of her counselors while attending Dysart High School in El Mirage.

“My counselor said it could help someone like me who has no idea about college and wants a chance to go without having to worry about money,” she said.

Last semester, the scholarship helped 347 someones like her.

“There is an unlimited number of scholarships available,” said Aztlana Quezada, Student Services Analyst for the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa.

Still, students are encouraged to apply early. The application deadline for the fall 2021 semester is July 15.

“Once the application is in, we begin to notify students of action items needed for successful application processing,” Quezada said.

Presidents’ Honors Scholars must maintain a GPA of 3.25 or higher and enroll in a minimum of 12 credits each semester. They must also attend two co-curricular activities and complete five honors projects.

“The honors project is an opportunity for the student to do advanced research and critical thinking on a focused topic under the guidance of a passionate faculty member in the classroom,”  said Erin Blomstrand, Honors Co-Coordinator and English and Literature Faculty. “The co-curricular events encourage honors students to expand their engagement and learning by looking outside the classroom at the world around them and experiencing something new and different.”

Presidents’ Honors Scholars must also take an honors cohort or honors section during their first and second semesters. Viviana chose the cohorts over the sections, which consist of a small group of honors students who engage in advanced research and scholarship within a larger class, because she said she wanted the full experience of the cohort.

“I tend to be on board with many other students like me that I can get help from,” she said. “The cohorts helped me improve on how to write and let out my creativity.”

Ms. Blomstrand describes Viviana as an energetic and intelligent young woman who has grown exponentially while in the Honors Program.

“She feels confident and solid in her ability to think critically and creatively, research in-depth as needed, to inspire, empower, and lead herself and others toward a specific vision or goal,” Ms. Blomstrand said.

Viviana said without the scholarship, she might not have been able to attend college.

“If I had not gotten the scholarship, I think I would have been really stressed trying to pay off my bills by working and make me question the very idea of college,” she said.

Instead, Viviana is looking forward to her second year at EMCC and then transferring on to Grand Canyon University where she will continue to study criminal justice.

“I’ve always wanted to help the community and make people feel safe,” she said.

To learn more about the Presidents’ Honors Scholarship and apply, go to https://www.estrellamountain.edu/academics/honors/presidents-honors-scholarship.