The $2.4 million grant, announced in March, is intended to provide scholarships and support to students who identify as Latino, first-generation, and low-income, and who are from Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. The López Scholars at UTSA are:
- Belinda Alonso-Coronado, from Kyle
- Christina Estrada, San Antonio
- Jahsiah Gonzales, San Antonio
- Joann Gonzalez, Floresville
- Emmanuel Ibarra, Combes
- Kyler Ledford, Iraan
- Daniel Lopez, San Antonio
- Audri Machado, Poteet
- Rachelle Mendez, San Benito
- Ashley Morales, Donna
- Jalynn Mugica, Round Rock
- Stephanie Munoz, Round Rock
- Anthony Murrugarra, San Antonio
- Anahi Reyes-Guerrero, San Antonio
- Melany Vital, San Antonio
UTSA Vice Provost for Student Success Tammy Wyatt addressed the students at a special orientation for the scholars and their families earlier this month.
“This is an exciting chapter in your lives—one that holds promise of boundless opportunities and intellectual growth and I can assure you it will be a transformative experience,” she said. “You’re not just entering college. You’re beginning a journey that will be financially supported, nurtured and enriched in every possible way. As a López Scholar, you’re not just a student—you are a part of a vibrant community dedicated to your success.”
The award recipients were not required to submit a separate application or meet a minimum GPA or SAT/ACT score. The 15 López Scholars instead were selected randomly from a pool of about 2,500 students admitted to UTSA who met the foundation’s demographic requirements. The award will support all education-related costs for the students. In addition to covering tuition and fees, the foundation’s gift will cover the cost of housing, health insurance, study abroad opportunities, transportation to see family, child care, legal services and more.
Additionally, the scholars will benefit from multiple services to aid their academic success, including one-on-one, personalized tutoring, academic mentoring and coaching, peer mentoring with a College Reading & Learning Association (CLRA) certified peer educator, group study sessions, mental health and well-being services, and career counselling.
“When I got the call about this scholarship, I honestly couldn’t believe it…I was in shock,” said López Scholar Melany Vital, who intends to major in music. “It means a lot to be able to pursue what I want in college. This scholarship is giving me the opportunity to do whatever I want without having to worry about money. It’s a really great opportunity.
Vital’s father, Hugo Vital, shared his daughter’s appreciation and excitement.
“It’s an opportunity for Melany to pursue what she wants to do in life and not have to worry about graduating with debt,” he said. “It’s a moment of joy for our family and we’ll do everything we can to support her so she can continue her educational studies and pursue her dreams.”
To remain eligible for the grant, the scholars must be enrolled full-time at UTSA and maintain a 2.0 GPA. López Scholars also commit to attending mentoring and academic coaching meetings, student success workshops and social events.