NewSpring Scholarships

NewSpring is proud to introduce five college scholarship recipients for the 2021-2022 academic year. Each student will receive $5000 to cover education and living expenses for a twelve-month period. Each one is an impressive student who is working to make a better future for themselves and their family.

Our goal is not only to enable students to attend college but more importantly to graduate. We are focused on providing encouragement and opportunity for deserving students who will be the first in their family to attend college. We have been blessed with very generous donors who make our scholarships possible.

NewSpring awards college scholarships of $5,000 every year. If you are interested in applying, please contact our office in February of any year at info@newspringcenter.org or 713-590-0100.

Alicia Villalta Mendez

Alicia graduated from Northbrook Senior High School in 2018. She is a senior at Texas A&M University – Kingsville, majoring in Social Work.
I believe my Social Work career will help me work in partnership with people, helping all to make empowered decisions over their lives. I would be able to advocate for communities or organizations and make sure policies include minorities that need the support. This last year of college I will be entering an internship where I will be gaining skills as an undergraduate social worker, and this experience will help me when I join the workforce as a professional. After my senior year ends and I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, I wish to pursue my master’s degree in Social Work. Although I know it will be a lot of hard work, I feel confident starting that new chapter in my life.

Daniela Cruz

Daniela graduated from Northbrook Senior High School in 2018. Daniela is entering her fourth year in college at the University of Houston-Downtown, majoring in Elementary Education with Interdisciplinary Studies – Bilingual (EC-6th grade)
With a rising demand for teachers, there’s no doubt that I chose the right path because I’m willing to make a difference. Lessons about patience are all around me; in the retail job I had during the pandemic, in reflections on a college course, Education Young Children, and in my life. I had put immense pressure on myself to go to college and to graduate in the specified timeframe. I have now realized that the track I am on is personal to me…and that I am succeeding and learning all along the way as I work, volunteer and make it to 8am classes. My journey is just beginning. I am dedicated to my dream of being a teacher and making my grandmother and parents proud.

Aileen Fuentes Martinez

Aileen is a 2020 graduate of Northbrook High School. She is now a sophomore at the University of North Texas majoring in Music Education and Studio Art.
Starting the academic year for a first year college student under an unexpected pandemic was in fact, difficult. I found joy in being able to attend my dream college that surrounded me with an atmosphere that felt like home. Musicians and artists paraded the school with unbelievable talent and skill that inspired me each day, feeling giddiness crawl up my spine because I knew this is where I'm supposed to be. I know my education is the most valuable thing I can pursue to achieve my dreams. Now more than ever I know that my dreams are the most precious thing I can ever have, they are what make me...me. I wear that semester with pride, knowing I was able to get through the worst. I have the drive, motivation and certainty that I can continue walking the path to my dreams, no matter how long it takes, I will be happy. This scholarship opportunity is part of that path, to have financial support, and even an additional emotional support from an organization as wonderful as the NewSpring family believing that my dreams have value and importance, is a feeling like none other.

Edmi Salazar

Edmi is a 2020 graduate of Northbrook High School. She is a sophomore at Houston Baptist University, after a year at the University of New Mexico, majoring in Film and Digital Arts.
“As a college freshman in 2020, the challenges of the pandemic were enormous. I did not have an orientation to the college or visit a classroom even once. I didn’t meet a professor in person or make new friends. I had to face new difficulties in adapting myself to online learning and to all the recent programs and new ways to learn. Despite all of these challenges, I now feel more capable of adapting myself to new changes and that I have a better knowledge of programs that will be useful in my future. I have also learned that people can be together even with they are apart. Even though I never met my college professors face to face, I felt that they were there for me, and I learned to appreciate how much work all of them did to teach a class online. The most important part of my goals is to finish college with a degree in film and digital arts and to keep expanding my knowledge and skills to the latest programs.

Sandra Melgar

Sandra graduated from Northbrook Senior High School in 2018. Sandra is a senior at Bryn Mawr College, majoring in Geology with a minor in Spanish.
As a Bryn Mawr Posse scholar I have learned to manage and overcome challenges throughout my three years of undergrad and I am so glad to be approaching my last year in college. The pandemic, by far, has and continues to change the way we settle back into the classroom but I am glad this past spring semester felt a bit more normal as we could attend in person classes and interact with people! Due to the changes after the vaccine was implemented on campus for all students, we gained the opportunity to once again be able to travel for fieldwork. As I am writing this (summer 2021) I find myself in a car with five other people in a desert by Delta, Utah collecting rock samples from a specific geologic outcrop to take back to campus and examine for our summer science research. I am grateful for the opportunity and will take advantage of the time being as I travel across the country and see the beauty of it all. Thank you NewSpring for your continuous support!

Thank You Letters from Our Scholarship Recipients...

Alicia Villalta Letter

When I was in high school, the idea of attending college was just a dream. I knew I was going to work hard and sacrifice a lot of things to get there, but I was determined that I had to make it in somehow. While I was still figuring out a college plan, Daniela Cruz, a good friend from high school, started bringing me to the NewSpring Art Studio to volunteer, and I immediately liked the staff and program. From the beginning it was such a welcoming, supportive environment that I kept coming back to help as much as I could.

At the time I was going through very difficult and strenuous moments with my family and looking back on it now I feel like I could have easily turned to the streets for support. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and it was not uncommon to see drug dealers at night. My family was struggling, and even though I had dreams to attend college, I felt that I could take a small break after graduating high school to help support my family and save up for college. One of my sisters ended up falling into the drug lifestyle, and as the oldest out of 5 kids I really felt like I had failed her somehow. Although my mom tried her best to look over us, she was constantly working and came home exhausted every day, so it was up to me to raise my siblings as best as a high schooler could.

When NewSpring offered me the scholarship for the first time I was extremely overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. It was the first step towards a higher education, but I feared leaving my family behind. We were already struggling, and if I was gone I could only imagine how much more my family would struggle to stay together. But after a serious talk with my mother and encouragement from staff at NewSpring, I worked up the courage to leave my familiar cocoon and fly, emerging as a butterfly into a new world. I would be far away from home and would have to learn to fend for myself, but I was excited for the change! Although I still carried a lot of trauma and fears from my childhood, I was finally able to learn to let go and move on, earning a chance to reclaim my life.

This recent scholarship from NewSpring will help pay for my last year of college and looking back I feel so blessed. Although I struggled a lot when I was younger, I am thankful that I did not fall into a bad track and found an amazing program like NewSpring that kept me busy. I thought college was a far away dream until NewSpring gave me the support I needed to pursue that dream, and for that I am forever grateful. I feel like I can set a good example for my siblings, and although my sister has left us to forge her own path through life, I wish to be able to help her if she ever needs it. When I was younger, I felt helpless because I did not have the resources available to help my family. But now, with a graduation and degree in sight, I feel like I will be able to obtain a job that can help me become financially stable and make enough to help my mom obtain her diabetes medicine and help my other siblings start a savings account so that they too may attend college someday.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for the continued support that I have received throughout college. I feel grateful that I have been able to go on this journey with the encouragement of incredibly kind and supportive people who I know I can turn to if I ever have any doubts about anything. I am proud to work closely with a program that has helped me and other students achieve their dreams of going to college.

Thank you so much,
Alicia Villalta

Daniela Cruz Letter

Having just graduated from Houston Community College, I would like to thank the Newspring Organization for aiding me to accomplish the first half of my college journey! Even though it was challenging in the first semester due to being the first generation in my family to pursue my education, I am committed to advance my academic career with integrity and dignity. At first, I was not satisfied with myself when I found out I was slightly behind with my degree plan, but then I learned with advice that it's not much about how long you take, but the first step is to keep going. Overall, I can complete obstacles with persistence. Even when I was in high school, it felt like a race because everyone was worried about class ranking and college acceptance letters. I wish to tell future graduates that students can learn that college is about finding oneself and looking back on what you learned in previous years.

From experiencing the resources from HCC, I was able to transition to my next journey: University of Houston - Downtown. When I was indecisive about my career path, I decided to change majors because I went back to my childhood journals, and I saw that I was passionate about reading books aloud and creating "classrooms" in my home. From Geology to Education, I knew that my passion for teaching was more notable. In two and half years, I am going to finish my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. All in all, I am very confident that my degree is becoming a reality, and cause of that confidence, I would like to thank Newspring for not only the financial assistance but also thanking the staff for personal and academic guidance.

Thank you,
Daniela Cruz

DID YOU KNOW?

Newspring Scholarships grant students $5,000 every year. Each recipient must reapply for subsequent years. Our goal is not only to enable students to attend college but most importantly to graduate. We have been blessed with very generous donors who make our scholarships possible. Donors have the satisfaction of knowing that a very deserving student will be the first in his or her family to attend college.

If you are interested in funding a scholarship, please contact Katie Fields at katiefields@newspringcenter.org­