An Irving High School student, one who didn't even speak English when she arrived in the United States at the age of 12, is on her way to Stanford University with a full-ride scholarship, thanks to a non-profit in California searching for deserving and promising students just like her.
Miriam Trigo is on track to be the 2018 valedictorian at Irving High. She's also an athlete on the volleyball team, an academic decathlete, currently holds a 4.0 GPA, and offers her time as a mentor and tutor to younger children.
"Which I love," she said. "My classmates tell me that I work too much sometimes. But I do it because I know it will pay off."
And it did.
Because in California, there is a program called the Quest Bridge College Match. The non-profit, funded by millions in donations from thousands of corporate and independent donors, offers scholarships to academically-deserving low-income students to attend some of the best universities in the country.
This year 918 students will receive a four-year full ride.
Miriam got the news Dec. 1, surrounded by her friends in the counselor's office. Photos captured the moment she learned her full ride would be to Stanford University.
"And as soon as I saw it I was in shock, I couldn't believe it," she said. "It got very loud for a second, because we were all screaming and crying. It was crazy. This is a huge gift. The gift of education."
But Miriam's journey from being a Mexican immigrant to valedictorian at Irving High School is remarkable for one more reason.
She will study bio-chemistry, bio-medicine, or bio-engineering. She hopes to be a pediatrician someday. Right now her mom is a housekeeper at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
In Spanish, with Miriam translating for her, Magdalena Trigo said she's proud of her daughter, but that it will be very difficult to see her leave for California. But she said it will be worth it to watch her daughter chase her dreams.
"The fact that with possibly being a doctor in the future, I'm going to be able to give back to my mom everything that she's given me. That's something that I really look forward to," she said.
Stanford University costs nearly $70,000 a year. That's more than both Miriam's mom and dad, a City of Irving groundskeeper, make in a year. This dream would not be possible without help.
"It's an honor," Miriam said. "I just feel blessed and I know I'm going to use that opportunity to do something good."
Miriam's parents, as far back as their days in Guadalajara, Mexico, always told her that if she worked hard enough, any dream was possible.
That’s why they came to work as legal residents in the United States.
"I think I could have a shot over there, of making a difference," Miriam said.
In her parents' eyes, she already has. No translation needed to understand that.
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