A 2016 graduate of Zeeland East High School, Rodrigo is majoring in Spanish and Social Studies at Hope College with plans to become a teacher.
Rodrigo knows his parents came to the United States because they wanted a good education for their children, but it wasn’t until 6th grade that Rodrigo says he himself began to realize and believe in the importance of education.
Rodrigo credits, along with his family, many of his teachers over the years who shared with him their love of education. Teachers he can still name! We name them here so they will know how their support has rippled forth in this young student: Mr. Guy, Ms. Purnell, Ms. Caesar, Mr. Fuller, and Mr. Molir.
The tribute he pays these teachers is that he now also wants to become a teacher, helping other students the way they helped and encouraged him.
Rodrigo’s high school college adviser Melanie Barts had this to say:
“I have had the pleasure of knowing Rodrigo for the past two years as his college adviser. He is far and away one of the most driven, hardworking students at Zeeland East. He is attentive and respectful, eager to learn and always asking questions, and willing to go the extra mile in and outside of the classroom.”
Rodrigo was rewarded for his drive and hard work when he received the Foundation’s Centennial Coatings Scholarship and the Tom and Susan DenHerder Education Scholarship.
What did receiving the H/Z Promise Scholarship mean to Rodrigo?
“To graduate without debt is a dream for me. I have an opportunity to make my family proud. And I have an opportunity to grow as a person, and grow professionally.”
And finally — what advice does Rodrigo have for other students who dream of college but face financial or other hurdles?
“Hard work and dedication are most important. Apply for scholarships! And do the work required at school.”
To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit www.cfhz.org/hzpromise