From Adversity to Accomplishment


Advertising poster for the 2020 application. Photo courtesy of: Simon Scholars Instagram

It’s the time of year again where sophomores are presented with the opportunity to become a Simon Scholar. The Simon Family Foundation is an organization that grants $16,000 scholarships, along with other educational benefits to students at selected schools. 

The foundation has provided a number of students with the opportunity to go to college and accomplish their goals, including certain students at Segerstrom. This year, students at Segerstrom are excitedly preparing their applications for the program. 

The prospect of becoming a Simon Scholar is enticing to a number of sophomores. However, with that excitement comes doubt and fear as well. 

  “The whole thing is nerve-wracking because you really don’t know if you’re gonna make it to the next level,” Maiza Garcia (10). 

There are three levels to the application process. First, a general application providing basic information, and including an essay about conquering adversities. If chosen to move forward, students will then be expected to provide two letters of recommendation from their current or past teachers. The final round includes an interview process, and from there, a maximum of 10 students will be chosen to become Simon Scholars. What worries students the most is that there is no guarantee they will even make it through the first round of the application process.  

In the midst of the mixed emotions going through sophomores’ heads as they complete their applications, Segerstrom’s Simon Scholars offer words of wisdom to quell any anxiety brought about during the process. 

Michael Campos (12) states, “Anything can happen, so don’t be afraid to try out for it. You’ll meet amazing people from different backgrounds and get a sense of diversity.” 

Simon Scholars not only aids students economically, but it offers a community of students all going through the same worries of applying to college. Most people applying to the program don’t believe they will get in; in fact, that’s the reason given by a number of students as to why they aren’t applying. 

“I feel like other people deserve it more than me because they’ve gone through more,” Mikayla Moreno (10). 

While not everyone will be accepted into the program, everyone deserves the opportunity to try. 

Current Simon Scholar, Frankie Moreno (11), states, “You miss every shot you don’t shoot. So, go for it even if you’re not sure.”