The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin (PBKAAGA) has always been committed to the encouragement and promotion of academic excellence in our community, and this year is no different. Since 1999, the Association has awarded scholarships to graduating high school seniors who demonstrate academic excellence. A few years ago the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin began to focus on applicants who are the first generation in their family to attend college and, more specifically, through its partnership with Breakthrough Central Texas, make these selections from among high school seniors in our program. Breakthrough is incredibly grateful for this partnership that will further ensure recipients have the funds they need to transition into college this fall.
Along with the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin, we are pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s scholarships. Seven Breakthrough high school seniors have been awarded scholarships that will go directly to the college of their choice.
Mateo Mondragon Gomez
Read more about the Scholars below:
Toluwalase Adeyemi is a senior at Manor Early College High School. She will be graduating with her High School Diploma, Associate of Arts and General Studies Degree, Electronics Technician Certification, and Phlebotomy Certification this spring. Tolu was very involved in school, participating on the Varsity Volleyball team all four years of high school, as well as being President of the National Honor Society and Leo Club on campus. In the fall, Tolu will be attending The University of Texas – at Austin, majoring in Liberal Arts (Undeclared), with hopes to transfer into Electrical and Computer Engineering the following school year. In her free time, Tolu loves to watch shows/ movies, garden, sunbathe, and is always excited to take on a new adventure! Her parting words to the reader are to eat breakfast and stay hydrated!
Mateo Mondragon Gomez
Mateo Mondragon Gomez is a senior at Manor New Tech High. He is very involved in his community, participating in school activities and volunteering for different events. He currently serves as the National Honor Society President for the ‘22-’23 chapter and has been selected as a Student Council, Key Club, and Gear Up Club Intern. During high school, he participated in the Youth Leadership Institute with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund at the University of Chicago, the Subiendo Leadership Academy at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, and multiple GEAR UP College Readiness Summer Programs. He was selected as a QuestBridge Prep Scholar and received the College Board National Hispanic Recognition Award for academic excellence. This year, he is graduating as Manor New Tech High School’s, Class of 2023 Valedictorian. He is a first-generation student from his parents who immigrated from Mexico. He has great aspirations for the future; to become an attorney and start his own business. As an undergraduate, he wishes to study Business Administration and work his way toward an MBA. After the completion of his MBA, he plans to attend law school. Outside of academia, he enjoys playing the guitar, indulging in true crime, keeping up with current events, and spending his time with his friends. His goal is to be someone who creates change in the world and helps those who are most in need.
Lidia Gutierrez is a graduate of Manor New Technology High School. She plans to continue her education at The University of Texas at Austin and plans to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. In her time at Manor New Technology, she has been president of Tech Girls, a club that aims to empower girls and familiarize them with STEM concepts and fields, and editor-in-chief of the Yearbook club and newspaper club which she founded to better communication on campus about school events and works as a collection of student creative works. She has also participated in internships, one with Code2College, a non-profit that aims to increase the number of low-income and minority students in STEM fields, where she helped designed and developed their website, and one with the communication department in the Manor Independent School District. She wants to encourage and give back to her community through service and participating in research at The University of Texas at Austin.
Mary Hoang senior at Manor New Technology High School. She has been very involved in high school through clubs and organizations, especially with her main focus on community service which hopes to do the same in college. After high school, she will be a first-generation student attending The University of Texas at Austin to major in Nursing in the Fall of 2023. After she graduates, she hopes to work as a Registered Nurse in either emergency medicine or pediatrics. With this experience, she is also considering medical school or physician assistant school in the far future. One of her main career aspirations is to alleviate racial disparities and medicine. She also wants to advocate for minorities and people of color who don’t receive equal access to healthcare as others. She hopes that she is successful in her academic goals and can help make a change in her community.
Yadira is a senior at LASA High School and will be graduating in June of 2023. She is a Certified EMR, a winner of the “All American Cheerleading Dream Team Member Award”, an aspiring first-generation college student, and has an affinity for baking/painting. She will be studying Biology in the fall, and can’t wait to start this next step in her academic career.
Angel is a senior at LASA high school. An accomplishment for him was being able to part take in a Biotechnology internship! As he steps foot into college he plans to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Although many believe a B.S. is enough, he will continue to pursue more as he studies for his master’s degree to achieve his best both in and outside of college. A master’s degree is a dream that has stuck around with him since the fifth grade, so it’s something that will show his hard work pays off!
Aileen Rodriguez has become known as an alumnus of many highly-selective camps with The University of Texas at Austin. Not only has she been successful in being recognized for those camps, but has also been able to be recognized as a leadership position holder for many clubs. She is currently President of GEAR UP Club, Vice-President of HOSA, Student Council, Key Club, and she is also Treasurer for the National Honor Society. All of the extra-curricular and outside-of-school camps that she’s participated in have helped her gear her mindset for her future. She’s also found a new passion for medicine and helping others. This is why she plans on attending a 4-year University she is planning to go to medical school after earning a Bachelor’s in Women & Gender Studies, and ultimately becoming an OB/GYN. She wants to be able to help women in any way that she can. She is passionate about her future and helping women is what she sees herself doing.