1st-Generation Grace Student Honored For ‘Realizing The Dream’

News Release

WINONA LAKE — Itsel Flores-Uribe, a Grace College sophomore from Elkhart, recently was one of 30 Hoosier students to receive the “Realizing the Dream” scholarship from Independent Colleges of Indiana.

Each of the honorees is a sophomore student who has “realized the dream” to be the first in his or her family to attend college, according to a news release from Grace College.

The event is made possible by the support of Lilly Endowment Inc. Each honoree received a $4,000 scholarship to help with college costs.

One out of every three students on ICI campuses is first-generation. Financial aid provided by ICI institutions, combined with state and federal grants, makes a private college education a possibility for all Hoosier students, including Flores-Uribe.

From a young age, Flores-Uribe was keenly aware of the sacrifices made by her parents to give her opportunities they never had.

“When my mom was young, she had the opportunity to attend college, but she sacrificed her college savings to support her family financially,” said Flores-Uribe. “And both of my parents left their family, friends and home country to come to the United States, adapting to a new culture and language so that my brother and I could pursue higher education.”

When Flores-Uribe began searching for colleges, Grace wasn’t on her radar. She had a list of Christian colleges to visit, but none of them felt like where she belonged. After several disappointing visits, a friend invited Flores-Uribe to Grace’s Latino Visit Day.

“The moment I arrived at Grace, I knew God was telling me that this was the right college for me,” said Flores-Uribe.

Now, Flores-Uribe is studying international business and entrepreneurial management with the goal of owning her own business one day.

After only a year and a half on campus, Flores-Uribe has already gotten involved in a number of groups and clubs that make Grace College feel like home. In hopes of learning her third language, she attends French club, and she also enjoys playing on the club rugby team where she has built strong relationships with her teammates, the release states. Flores-Uribe especially enjoys being a part of Esperanza Latina.

“Esperanza Latina is a place where I count my friends as family,” said Flores-Uribe. “It’s a place where we share tradition and culture. Through it, I’ve learned many things from other Latinos.”

Flores-Uribe’s college experience has been everything her parents have worked so hard for, stated the release. So when she found out she had been awarded the Realizing the Dream Scholarship, she was overjoyed.

“I was in pure shock for a few minutes and then immediately called my mom to give her the news,” she said.

Grace College provides significant financial aid for students. In fact, nearly 25% of its incoming students are attending Grace tuition-free through a combination of federal, state and institutional aid.

For more information about Grace College, including financial aid and scholarship information, visit www.grace.edu/admissions or call 866-974-7223.