Gainesville ISD is proud to announce that three GHS Seniors were name finalists in the QuestBridge National College Match program, and Alfredo Moreno was selected as a full scholarship recipient to Tufts University. Tufts University, located 5 miles north of Boston in Medford, Massachusetts, provides students with the resources of a large research university as well as the attention of a liberal arts college. All undergraduate programs at Tufts are offered by the School of Arts and the School of Engineering.
QuestBridge is a national program that pairs high-achieving, low income high school seniors with full scholarships to the nation’s top colleges. Trevor Hall, Jenny Liu and Moreno all began the lengthy process of the QuestBridge program during their junior year, which began with applying to the Prep Scholars program, gaining essay and college application coaching.
“I had low expectations and looked at the statistics of the number of people who were accepted,” Moreno said. “I thought it was really unlikely but worth a shot.”
Hall, Liu, and Moreno were three of 14,491 applicants to the 2016 QuestBridge program, and were three of only 5,338 applicants to be named as finalists. As a finalist, each student ranked their top 10 schools out of the 38 college partners, including many Ivy League Universities.
“I was really happy to be a finalist,” Liu said. “It was nice to see that all that I had worked for paid off.”
Moreno was one of the elite 767 students who were then selected to be a 2016 College Match Scholarship recipient. Students selected for the College Match are “matched” to one of QuestBridge’s 38 college partners— admitted with a guaranteed full, four-year scholarship, including tuition, room and board, and other expenses.
“I was in disbelief at first,” Moreno said. “Then it was relief that the college application process, which was stressful and busy, was finally over and I had something guaranteed. Now I knew where I was going and that I could pay for it. It was a big load off my shoulders.”
Moreno is the son of Alfredo & Belen Moreno and has one older sister Vicky, who is currently attending TWU nursing school. “My sister has a full ride scholarship, so I’m glad that I won’t have to put a financial burden on my parents either.”
This is the first year that Gainesville High School had any finalists in the QuestBridge program, so three finalists and one recipient is a tremendous accomplishment for these students.
“I am surprised that we haven’t had any students make it to finalist or get selected, but I’m not surprised that these three got as far as they did,” said Alicia McWilliams, GHS UIL Math coach and Calculus teacher. McWilliams described all three students as leaders in different ways, and describes each of them as being helpful with other students. “They have the special quality of being able to step back and push everyone else and step in if they need to,” she said. “They want them to figure it out on their own but they are there to catch them if they fall.”
Moreno has attended GISD schools his entire life and describes GHS as “a small school but I feel like I was challenged. I got a lot out of my education here, and the dual credit program at NCTC really let me push myself as much as I thought I was able.”
Moreno was always interested in research universities and those that could focus on the STEM portion of education, and will be studying computer engineering at Tufts in the Fall. Hall and Liu, even though not Match recipients, are able to continue the college application process through QuestBridge. Hall is interested in mathematics or neuroscience and Liu is working towards an education in the biomedical field. The students in the GHS Class of 2017 have promising futures!