Rewind to Spring 2017 when I applied to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, I was a senior in high school trying to prepare for the price of college. In Fall 2017, I found out that I had been selected as a scholar! I was over the moon with excitement. Receiving a scholarship turned out to be just one opportunity granted to me by HSF. Fast forward to this summer, when the organization selected me to attend the 2018 National Leadership Conference in Hollywood, CA.
I was one of 100 selected scholars chosen to participate in the conference. The other scholars were from all over the country: Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Oregon, and more. They represented a diverse group of hispanic students from many different countries like Colombia, Mexico, and El Salvador. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we were all rising sophomores in college wanting to learn more about securing internships and careers in the future.
HSF connected us with the HSF Career Staff, a group of individuals whose job is to help us find internships and jobs. They also brought in multiple companies like Wells Fargo, Altria, Target, Toyota, Delta Airlines, and Anheuser-Busch. Representatives from these companies helped answer our questions about recruiting, and informed us about their own unique internship opportunities.
Networking with recruiters seemed scary at first, but NLC also helped me prepare to nail the interviews! We learned how to build a resume, manage a LinkedIn account, and put our new skills into action during mock interviews.
On top of this, the other scholars and I had a ton of fun! We got to listen to Zoe Saldana speak about her platform BESE, but you might recognize her elsewhere as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy. As a USC student, I got to show the other scholars around Hollywood and Los Angeles. For many, it was their first time visiting Southern California. Exploring Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and eating an In-n-Out Burger were highlights of our adventures.
I am thankful for the scholarship given to me by HSF and Wells Fargo. I am even more thankful to have been taught the skills that will aid my success through college and beyond. It is hard to estimate the value of NLC on my career moving forward.
My advice to incoming students: apply to as many scholarships and programs as you can! If you have questions about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund specifically, feel free to reach out.