Senior Highlight: Nancy Pineda-Gama, 2020 IME BECAS/HACEMOS Dallas Scholarship Recipient

Going to a four-year college nowadays can be expensive. Therefore, many students apply for scholarships, in the hope of getting their financial charges decreased. While the path to these grants seems difficult, students such as Nancy Pineda-Gama ’21 successfully managed to make it. She counts as one of the 40 out of 230 applicants selected for the 2020 IME BECAS/HACEMOS Dallas Scholarship. The scholarship program offers selected Mexican students or students of Mexican origin residing in the United States, $1,000, for a two-year program and $2,000 for a four-year institution.
The senior majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Biology, heard of this opportunity through an email from one of her high school teachers she kept contact with.
Something different that probably made Nancy stood out is her willingness to write a non-required essay. Realizing the scholarship program searched for individuals demonstrating community involvement, participation in extracurricular activities and leadership experiences in addition to academic success, she wrote an essay which emphasized on the impact of these various criteria on her passion for education and non-profits on one side, and her personal and academic development on the other.
Thankfully, her efforts paid off. When informed of her selection as a recipient she, “felt incredibly happy.” Nancy’s extreme joy was also due to her only hearing about the scholarship less than a week before its entries closed. Despite the time constraint, she reached out to a professor and a supervisor at Austin College for recommendation letters and submitted her application within two days from the deadline. This amount of discipline and determination are definitely sources of inspiration. No wonder Margie Norman, Austin College Director of Career Services described her as having an, “amazing attitude in the face of adversity” and “a willingness to go the extra mile in everything she touches.”
Nancy plans to use the scholarship award of $2,000 to cover the cost of her tuition and books for her last semester at Austin College.
“I recommend students to keep in close contact with current and previous professors, supervisors, and coworkers not only because of networking opportunities but because they can often reach out to you about scholarships or other great opportunities that they believe you are fit for,” Nancy said. “Though it can be discouraging to apply to scholarships and not be selected, you should continue to search for and apply to opportunities. Remember that you do not have to go through the process alone. You can always reach out to professors, supervisors, or mentors to review your applications to help you make edits and best demonstrate your relevant qualifications.”
Lastly, Nancy invites students to consider smaller scholarships, that can add up to pay for books, fees, and housing although the bigger ones, $5,000 and plus, entice more.
For more information about Nancy Pineda-Gama’s journey, please follow this link
For more information on the IME BECAS/HACEMOS Dallas Scholarship, please follow this link

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