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Donors and partners of University Neighborhood Partners will award over $20,000 dollars in scholarship money for the 2008-2009 academic year to seven recipients. One student will earn a $4,000 scholarship, four will be awarded a $3,000 scholarship, and another two students will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Six of the scholarship recipients will be enrolled at the University of Utah, with one attending Salt Lake Community College. Three will be freshmen, another three are sophomores. Five have indicated they wish to pursue a degree in the medical field. All are first generation college students, all are children of immigrants, and all learned English as a second language.

Incoming freshmen Rosa Hinojosa was awarded a $4,000 UNP / Alumni Association scholarship. University of Utah sophomore Brenda Mandujano and Richard Christian Montenegro, a Salt Lake Community college graduate transferring to the University of Utah, were each awarded a $2,000 UNP / Alumni Association scholarship. Safi Awil will receive a $3,000 Wolf scholarship that she will use to begin her first year at Salt Lake Community College. A newly created Meritus I $3,000 scholarship will go to University of Utah sophomore and math major Claudia Tetelpa. Andrea Garcia, a University of Utah sophomore, and Ismael Sharif, an incoming freshman, each earned a $3,000 Pathfinder Fund scholarship.

This fall marks only the second year University Neighborhood Partners and its partners have been able to offer college scholarships.

Last year UNP named two recipients, one for a $4,000 UNP/ Alumni scholarship and the second for a $3,000 Wolf Scholarship. This year, the Alumni Association awarded three scholarships: one $4,000 award and two $2,000 awards. The donors for the Wolf scholarship collected additional private monies to award another $3,000 scholarship called the Meritus I scholarship. The Wolf’s said they hope to add yet another $3,000 scholarship for the fall of 2009. The remaining two $3,000 scholarships are being awarded out of donations to the UNP Pathfinder Scholarship fund that was announced last fall. 

Forty-one students submitted applications this year. About 85 percent of the applicants are children of immigrants, with nearly all of them first generation college students. Last year, only a handful of students applied for the two scholarships.

John Fackler, director of business relations for the Alumni Association, said that the quality of applicants made “choosing just one recipient extremely difficult.” He said that he shared this with Alumni Association Executive Director John Ashton, who offered to fund two additional $2,000 runner-up scholarship. “But even with the additional funding, it was difficult to choose between such great candidates,” Fackler added.

Because of the increasing need for financial support, the pool of qualified applicants, and an increased availability of monies, UNP and the scholarship committees increased the number of awards to seven this year after the applications were submitted, said Dr. Rosemarie Hunter, UNP Director.  

Recipients will be honored and recognized at the 5th annual Partners in the Park kick-off event on June 17, 2008 at Jordan Park.

All scholarships target residents of the seven Salt Lake City west side neighborhoods UNP serves (Glendale, Rose Park, Westpointe, Jordan Meadows, Poplar Grove, State Fairpark, and People’s Freeway) or students who are involved in one of UNP’s 13 partnerships.

Applications will be available for 2009-2010 next spring. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements and submit an application, essays, or letter of recommendation, depending on the criteria for each specific scholarship. Information on the scholarships can be obtained by calling the UNP offices at 972-3596.

Since 2003, UNP has forged campus-community partnerships among residents and community organizations that focus on developing sustainable strategies that will increase higher education as an option for youth living on Salt Lake City’s west side.