Melissa graduated from West Ottawa High School and was nominated for a Promise Scholarship by staff at Upward Bound.

She attends Grand Valley State University and plans to study anthropology. Her career goal since she was in fifth grade has been to become a college professor.

“I want to achieve something that no one in my family or in my life has achieved. As a Mexican-American woman, I have not seen many get as far as a doctorate degree. I want to be an example for many young Mexican girls.”

Melissa’s parents always told her and her sister that getting a college degree would allow them to have jobs they love and feel passionate about.

”I want a college degree because I want to make my parents proud. They only finished middle school and have encouraged me financially and emotionally to continue with high school and eventually college. I am so proud and happy to realize that I will be the second person in my entire family to go to college.”

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