For immediate release: Oct. 10, 2007
BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania freshman Jorge Maldonado is the only student in Pennsylvania and one of only 250 students from across the country to be awarded a scholarship through the Dell Scholars Program.
The Dell Scholarship, funded through the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, is awarded to students with qualifying financial need who participate in a college readiness program. Since 2004, the foundation has provided more than $9 million in college scholarships to cover the costs of tuition, fees, books and room and board.
To apply for the Dell Scholarship, Maldonado completed a preliminary application. The application and essays were judged and sent to the semi-finals and then the finals. The essays highlighted the applicants’ personal life as well as their goals.
“I stayed positive and I told myself that I had a good chance to win,” said Maldonado.
Maldonado, a graduate of Bloomsburg High School, was enrolled in the TRiO Upward Bound Program at BU, starting in 2005, his sophomore year in high school.
“It was a great experience. I didn’t know what college would be like until Upward Bound,” said Maldonado.
Upward Bound is open to high school students from low-income backgrounds. The program stresses academics and diversity to prepare students to become the first members of their families to attend college. At BU, Upward Bound started in 1978 and currently serves students from Bloomsburg and nine other school districts.
Upward Bound provides students with a hands-on college experience. For Maldonado, the best part of Upward Bound is the summer program when students enroll in classes that will prepare them for their next year of high school.
“Upward Bound gives you this opportunity to live on campus and be on your own. It was a great experience,” Maldonado said. “It’s realizing what you can be.”
Maldonado, who lives in Bloomsburg near BU’s campus, is majoring in criminal justice. After graduating from BU he hopes to attend law school and become a lawyer.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.