Edgar, a 2015 graduate of Holland High School, will be attending Western Michigan University this fall.

Going to college wasn’t something Edgar thought much about, and his grades reflected that. His lack of interest almost derailed any possibility of college after high school — and then, in his junior year, Edgar said, “I woke up.”

What woke him up? Holland High in conjunction with Grand Rapids Junior College offered courses that gave Edgar actual college credit. In those classes his teachers told their stories, spoke of how they dreamed of a college education and the possibilities for their future.

“I realized,” Edgar said, “that if I didn’t grow up, didn’t start to apply myself — I had no future.”

He made 180 degree turn in his life that junior year. His grades shot up, his GPA became college acceptable, and he began to dream, though he had real doubts. Feared perhaps it was too late to earn scholarships that would make college possible.

One of the counselors at Holland High, Mr. Raul Jimenez, recommended Edgar for the Holland/Zeeland Promise scholarship but he didn’t really dare to believe he might be selected. “l almost didn’t attend the Honors convocation,” Edgar said. “I knew there were some pretty accomplished people going for the scholarship. I didn’t want to feel disappointed when I didn’t hear my name called.”

And then, his name was called as recipient of a 2015 HZ Promise Scholarship, which would enable him to graduate debt-free, removing the obstacle — the financial obstacle — that most threatened his dream.

Edgar’s career goals?

  • Good in math and science he considered a Psychology degree but not plans on a degree in Computer Science!

Mr. Raul Jimenez, Edgar’s counselor at Holland High School had this to say about Edgar:

“Edgar is grateful for every single opportunity he is granted. He is a selfless and hard-working young man and a true pleasure to be around. Edgar does not sit around and wait for opportunity to come knocking. He is tenacious young man who sets out to open doors for himself and, as he gets ready to pursue higher education, I am sure he will continue to seek and seize opportunity, as well as continue to work to improve conditions for those around him.”

What does the Holland/Zeeland Promise mean to Edgar?

“There would have been so many more obstacles. Sometimes I think others deserved this scholarship more than I did. But now that I’ve been chosen — I need to take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Edgar’s advice to students who also face financial or other challenges?

“Even when you feel doubt — don’t let it overwhelm you, do something about it. Self-confidence grows if you don’t let doubts grow.”

To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit www.cfhz.org/hzpromise