A 2016 graduate of West Ottawa High School, Eric attends Michigan State University in the fall.

Eric’s parents had encouraged him to dream of a life that didn’t require the hard labor that their lives did. But it wasn’t until his sophomore year, when he began attending the Trio Upward Bound program, that Eric really began to dream of attending college. He credits Upward Bound’s leaders with helping him believe that he was not alone, that if you just look around and reach out there are others willing to motivate you to succeed.

An example of that is Trio Upward Bound’s Bridge Program which David attended at Hope College, the summer before he entered MSU in the fall of 2016. This valuable transition program offered Eric important strategies for a successful college experience.

Eric was also part of the Holland, LAUP (Latin Americans United for Progress) The stories of people who climbed the ladder to success were important motivators for him then and now. He’ll be receiving LAUP’s Dream/Beal Family Scholarship.

Elizabeth Colburn, Director of the Trio Upward Bound program had this to say about Eric:

“Eric is motivated, has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to learning, always giving 110% to everything he does. He is passionate about finishing college one day and becoming a role model for other Hispanic students. Truth be told, Eric has already stepped into this role; as a senior he has been an excellent role model for the younger students in Upward Bound!”

Eric’s career goals?

He’s seeking a profession that will help others. To become a doctor is his dream now, but he says he is keeping an open mind knowing that his college experience may open up all kinds of new worlds and ways of giving back to family, friends — to community.

What did receiving the he Holland/Zeeland Promise scholarship mean for David?

“I will be able to take on college without the financial burden or barrier.” He wants all of the donors to know “Your contributions and hard work towards us will most certainly reflect on this community and possibly change the world! I would never have thought this possible for me coming from a disadvantaged background. This is truly a blessing!”

Eric’s advice to other students like himself, dreaming of a college education?

“Stay motivated. And remember to enjoy the journey. Even hurdles and mistakes are taking you into the future.”

To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit