Priscilla has graduated! She finished her course work at Everest Institute, received her diploma in November and is now an NRCMA. Translation: She is a Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant.

This meant she had the skill and certification for the job she was offered at OBGYN Associates of Holland, Michigan. We are thrilled for her.

Let’s tell her story one more time:

Priscilla Silvas’ grandmother was a nurse which which is probably why Priscilla dreamed of a higher education degree in the medical field. But achieving her dream wasn’t easy. Priscilla faced a number of personal challenges.

In her Junior year she moved to Saginaw because of family circumstances. That meant leaving not only her friends, but theHope College’s Trio Upward Bound program to which she had been participating in since the 8th grade.

In her senior year Priscilla found a way to return, wanting to graduate with the friends she had known for so many years and to be involved again with the Upward Bound program which she knew would help her prepare for college.

Upward Bound’s director, Elizabeth Colburn accepted her back into the program, but it was late. Priscilla had missed the year when the students were tutored in how to make applications for grants and scholarships.

However, Elizabeth Colburn was a member of The Holland/Zeeland Promise Board. She knew there might still be time for Priscilla to apply for the HZ Promise scholarship as well as a government Pell grant. When interviewed, Priscilla impressed the committee with her motivation and determination.

Elizabeth Colburn had this to say about Priscilla:

“Priscilla is a focused student who does not back away from a challenge. Determined to meet her goals, Priscilla works hard and completes each task to the best of her ability.”

Priscilla has this advice for students dreaming of a college education

“Don’t let anything come between you and your dreams.”

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