With the help of Pathways to Success, the Women Leaders Forum of the Coachella Valley awarded a total of $57,500 in college scholarships to 13 local young women.
The teens had been part of the organization’s Young Women Ambassadors program and were honored on Wednesday at the Miramonte in Indian Wells.
Some of them will be the first in their families to go college.
“It’s a great motivation to rise and be what I want to be in the future. It’s just great help to get the scholarship,” said Yesenia Hernandez, a Desert Mirage High School student.
Palm Springs High School senior Mariah Troy will attend UC Irvine in the fall.
The University of California board of regents proposed another six-percent tuition increase or about $700 for in-state students. The UC system faces a major budget shortfall, which could be even worse if voters say no to the governor’s tax initiative this November.
The board will vote on the proposal in July.
“We have our prices for final tuition but we don’t know if it’s going up or not so it’s nerve-racking,” said Troy.
That’s why Rebecca Kenary, president of the women’s forum, hoped the scholarships would make a difference.
“Our thing is not to have the girls assume a lot of debt. When they get the $5,000 and other grants, it’ll put them in a better place for the future,” she said.