Antioch HS senior receives $50,000 scholarship; first in family to attend college

Posted at 8:06 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 06:42:40-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An Antioch High School senior will now be the first person in her family to attend college thanks to a $50,000 scholarship through Girls Inc. at YWCA and the Chaput-Avery Family Foundation.

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Jennifer Leonides Guadarrama always had to translate for her parents.

She says it became harder during hospital visits because she didn't know medical terminology in Spanish and it's what sparked her interest in becoming a nurse.

Now she gets to live out that dream.

"I know it's not good to put all your eggs in one basket but that's kind of what I did because I'm undocumented and don't have access to the state help and financial aid," Leonides Guadarrama.

The scholarship means possibilities for the 17-year-old.

Her father works in landscaping and Jennifer works part time at an ice cream shop.

As one of four kids, Leonides Guadarrama tells me she knows finding the money to fund her education would be hard to swing.

"When I told my dad I got the scholarship it was like wow I can go," Leonides Guadarrama said, "my decision to go to these colleges were honestly based on these scholarships because I knew my parents already had a lot on their plate so to add tuition to that I knew that wouldn't be the best situation for all of us."

With the help of this scholarship she will now have the funds to attend Trevecca Nazarene University in the fall.

In addition to the $50,000 scholarship, Girls Inc. at YWCA and the Chaput-Avery Family Foundation were able to offer four more scholarships to four other Girls Inc. participants. One scholarship was $2,500, two were for $1,500, and another scholarship for $500.

Another $1,000 was divided between four graduates of Girls Inc. to help with their sophomore year of college.