CAC Advisee Wins $40K from College Board’s New Scholarship Program

Edson Leyva got some great news this morning: He won a $40,000 scholarship to help him attend the University of Southern California, his dream school — and he said he couldn’t have navigated the college admission process without his College Advising Corps adviser, Pedro Cordova.

“I’m extremely grateful,” Edson said on Good Morning America on Thursday, October 18. “It takes a lot from my financial problems. It’s giving me a clear path to a bright future.”

“Knowing his character and work ethic, it was no surprise that someone heard his story and rewarded him with a scholarship,” said Pedro, Edson’s adviser through the New York University College Advising Corps at the Lab School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx. “I merely made sure that he took full advantage of every opportunity that came his way, and this scholarship is evidence of that.”

Both Edson and Pedro are the first people in their families to go to college. As Edson’s mother watched him win the scholarship this morning, she dabbed tears from her eyes.

On Good Morning America on Thursday, Edson learned he was one of the first three College Board Opportunity Scholarship winners. (Learn more about the scholarship, including CAC Founder Nicole Hurd’s thoughts on it, in USA Today.) To win the scholarship, Edson had to complete six steps, including building a college list, completing the FAFSA, and applying to colleges — many of which CAC advisers help their students do every day.

CAC’s research shows that completing these steps and others increase a student’s chances of enrolling in college. That’s the first step to a better life for these students: A college-educated worker earns 84% more in their lifetime than a worker with only a high school diploma.

Winning the College Board Opportunity Scholarship is the culmination of Edson’s hard work in high school — and the next step on his journey to college.

“Knowing that Edson will not have a large financial burden takes away the pressure of coming up with the funds to continue his education, which in turn will allow Edson show his massive potential,” Pedro said.

Congratulations, Edson and Pedro!

College Advising Corps works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete higher education.

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