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New Partnership Helps Hispanic Students Attend Southern Adventist University

Julena Camarena

Julena Camarena is a first-generation college freshman and Equal Chance for Education scholarship recipient. Photo provided by Southern Adventist University

Southern Adventist University has launched a partnership with Equal Chance for Education (ECE), a Tennessee-based scholarship program that helps provide Hispanic individuals with an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream by completing college. Incoming college students may qualify for an ECE scholarship of up to $6,000 per year if they have a GPA of at least 3.0, are ineligible for federal funding, and have a defined career goal.

This partnership came about thanks to scholarship recipient and incoming-freshman Julena Camarena. When Camarena applied for an ECE scholarship and was accepted, she was disappointed to find that her dream school — Southern — was not partnered with ECE. She asked if ECE would consider working with Southern, and to her surprise, they agreed. Since then, Southern and ECE have formed a partnership that will help financially insecure students find the funding they need to pay for college expenses.

“Working with this program will help Southern find financial resources for programs and scholarships that support diversity on campus,” said Stephanie Guster, senior advisor for diversity at Southern. “This program shows that there are highly capable students who want to be in higher education — who choose Southern — but who aren’t eligible for federal funding. It’s exciting to have a resource to assist those students!”

As a freshman at the university this fall, Camarena will be studying clinical psychology as she begins her journey to becoming a surgeon.

“I am a first-generation college student, so this scholarship is really important to my family as I build a future for myself,” Camarena said. “Through ECE and Southern, I can see God’s will working in me. I know this scholarship program will help others who are in the same situation have an opportunity to attend an Adventist university, too.”