"Alabama Scholarships for Service, Not Just Grades"

My experience with our current admins and counselors is perplexing. 

Maria Quintana Garcia, our Smith Scholar in her sophomore year at UAH, was persuaded between her junior and senior year of high school, to sideline her ambitions to become a mechanical engineer and attend Lawson State to become a mechanic by our senior counselor. While that choice would certainly be appropriate for some students, a student with Maria’s intellect and drive would have been utterly bored by such a choice. I hope you’ll share with your committee that I was unable to dissuade Maria from the counselor’s suggestion. While encouraging her to complete the Smith Scholarship, assisting with her document scanning, and reading her essays, I failed to mention that Smith only funds for four year, in-state universities. Luckily, Maria missed that detail and found herself at the Smith interview where she discovered she’d need to attend a four year school.  Finding a committee of adults who believed what I believed about her was finally enough to persuade Maria that she could succeed at a four year school and live out her dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. Her lived experience over the past year and a half proves our instincts were accurate. 

You may notice that if you go to our school, there is no counselor’s web page or scholarship listing. The annual fall college fair we once hosted at school no longer happens and colleges never seem to visit. I am unsure what has caused this change with the new administration and counseling team. I am glad to send you their contact info; however, I hear from most of my contacts that emails are not returned. 

Please feel free to contact me at this alternate email as many emails that are not SPAM wind up in SPAM on my school email. 

Debra New

County High School 

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