NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two Indiana high school students who have made an impact in their schools and communities were surprised with $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarships from Sallie Mae. Victor Olivo, a senior at Eastern Hancock High School in Charlottesville, Indiana, and Brooklyn Rudicil, a senior at Lapel High School in Lapel, Indiana, are two of nine $25,000 Sallie Mae Bridging the Dream Scholarship recipients nationwide.
Bridging the Dream Scholarship nominations were submitted by school and community leaders to recognize high school juniors and seniors who excel in academics, athletics, community service, or school activities but may face personal or financial challenges when looking to fulfill their college dreams. Victor was nominated by Eastern Hancock High School science teacher, Cody Hibbert. Brooklyn was nominated by Lapel High School’s director of guidance, Patricia Catt.
Victor, raised in a Spanish speaking home, works as a tutor and mentor for other students who face language barriers. A role model in the community, Victor represents his school with a leadership role in Y-Give, Hancock County Community Foundation’s board for youth ambassadors for philanthropy, and volunteers at the local humane society.
“Victor is always ready to help if there is ever a need,” said Hibbert. “I have taught for eight years and have had more than 1,000 students. Victor is the hardest working, most determined and trustworthy student I have ever had. When asked about his future plans, Victor is adamant about wanting to do something that helps people.”
Brooklyn is a member of the National Honor Society with plans to study accounting in college. While she’s always exceled in the classroom, instability and hardship at home resulted in challenges at school. Despite these challenges, Brooklyn decided to make a fresh start and channel that energy for good. She helps to pack and deliver meals to honor police officers and firefighters, has participated in the Million Meals Movement, and offers free childcare to families. Brooklyn’s also a hard worker at her job at Goodwill, where she quickly moved up and now helps train new employees.
“Brooklyn has a mothering spirit that is on full display with her classmates and teachers,” said Catt. “She works hard both in and outside of the classroom and sets a positive example for those around her. With a strong desire to do good, Brooklyn has set an example for the high school, the community, and all young people who want to create a world full of giving and growing.”
“Both Victor and Brooklyn possess the ability to open doors, create opportunities, and build prosperous futures,” said Donette Cassman, director, Sallie Mae. “Meeting students of this character reinforces our mission at Sallie Mae to equip aspiring minds with the tools they need to make their dreams come true. When students like Victor and Brooklyn succeed, we all benefit.”
Since 2016, Sallie Mae has awarded $560,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program. This year, $225,000 will be awarded, including $40,000 raised directly by employees.
For more information about Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarships, visit SallieMae.com/BridgingTheDream, or join the conversation by using #BridgingTheDream.
Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to help make college happen and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, possible. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.