Courtesy of San Benito High School:
San Benito High School junior Jasmine Rosales Castillo has been selected for Stanford University’s eight-week Summer Session Horizon Scholars program, a residential scholarship opportunity for low-income, high achieving incoming high school seniors to participate in the High School Summer College program.
Castillo and the other Horizon Scholars will take seven to nine units of credit during the summer, including an introduction to college writing course. They will have access to tutoring, academic advising and academic skills workshops while also participating in pre- and mid-summer advising sessions to support academic success.
Castillo and her fellow students will attend a series of workshops focusing on college preparatory skills and have a calendar filled with off-campus excursions throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
The value of the scholarship, which was open to a competitive pool of applicants, is nearly $17,000.
“I honestly can’t believe that I will get to do something so amazing because I never knew this could be possible,” Castillo said. “I’m excited to get an early college experience. I’m worried the classes will be difficult and I may get homesick, but all of this will prepare me for college. I’m ready!”
Castillo found out about the scholarship opportunity from SBHS English teacher and counseling intern Lorena Fernandez, who guided her through the process.
Castillo said she plans to study environmental engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she also hope to play in the university orchestra.
Larry Lagerstrom, associate dean and director of the Stanford Summer Session, said the program’s goal is to “foster a strong group of Horizon Scholars through specialized academic programming, as well as promote a diverse student life community through the residential experience with all of our High School Summer College students.”
SBHS English Department Chair Carissa Alvarez, who helped Castillo on her three essays required as part of the application, said she had Castillo in her English 9 Advanced class two years ago, “and ever since, she’s come to my classroom every Monday morning to do homework.”
“She is an extremely hard worker and super motivated,” Alvarez said. “She really deserves this.”
English teacher Dr. Tom Rooth wrote a letter of recommendation for Castillo and Counselor Tim Pipes supported her through the application process.