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Four LAYC Participants Win New Futures Scholarships PDF Print
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:30


Congratulations to Phung Vo, Adan Blanco, Manual Duarte, and Walfer Hernandez (pictured in this order) who won New Futures Scholarships!


Phung Vo

Phung and her family arrived in the U.S. about a year and a half ago. Despite already having graduated from high school in her native Vietnam, Phung enrolled in the GED program at Next Step Public Charter School in order to improve her English; she earned her GED. She loves math, working with numbers, money and computers. Phung will use her New Futures scholarship to earn an associate's degree in accounting. Phung also volunteers at the Vietnamese American Community Service Center doing administrative work and helping kids with homework. She dreams of someday helping orphans and poor children.

Adan Blanco

Adan left El Salvador for the U.S. due to safety concerns; his neighborhood faced daily gang attacks. Once in the U.S., Adan realized that he needed to learn English in order to be successful. He supported himself by working full-time at local restaurants, today as a cook. Recognizing the importance of education, Adan enrolled at Next Step Public Charter School where he earned his GED on his first attempt. He also volunteers at Next Step, assisting two teachers with social studies and math classes. Since he was a child, Adan has always been interested in brand design, drawing, logos and all activity related to drawing and computers. He will use his New Futures scholarship to pursue an associate's degree in graphic design at University of the District of Columbia-Community College.

Manuel Duarte

Manuel and his family left El Salvador for the U.S. seeking asylum after Manuel's grandfather was killed by a gang. Manuel continued his education in the U.S. and worked to help support his family. Manuel has worked at a local restaurant for the past two years, starting as a busboy, moving up to line cook, and then being promoted to sous-chef, where he was responsible for training ten cooks. Despite working 40-45 hours per week, Manuel has managed to keep up with his studies and participate in extracurricular activities at school, including Air Force JROTC. Working in restaurants has allowed him to see how a business is run and has solidified his interest in a business career. Manuel will use his New Futures scholarship to pursue an associate's degree in business at Montgomery Community College.

 Walfer Hernandez

Due to his family's bleak economic situation, Walfer left school in his small town in Guatemala at the age of sixteen to look for a job in Guatemala City in order to help his family. He soon realized that he could barely survive on the low wages much less help his family, so he moved to the U.S. where he faced many more challenges. Recognizing the value of knowing English, he enrolled in classes at St. Matthew's Cathedral in DC. Next, he enrolled in LAYC's Bard College Program where he earned some college credits. Walfer also works full-time at a local restaurant. Since he was a child, Walfer has dreamed of earning a degree in computer science. He will use his New Futures scholarship to earn an associate's degree in computer science at University of the District of Columbia-Community College.

New Furtures provides financial and other support to low-income D.C. area young people seeking financial self-sufficiency through post-secondary education.

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