The recipient of the All-USA scholarship recently graduated from Miami Dade College with an associate’s degree in biology. She was also selected for the 2016 All-Florida Academic Team.
Maria Ortiz, 20, found out she won the $5,000 scholarship in March when she was called to the InterAmerican Campus President’s office, along with Diego Tibaquira, the Phi Theta Kappa’s advisor, and Magda Castineyra, the Honors College director.
Ortiz heard about the scholarship through the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She had to send transcripts, two recommendation letters, a list campus activities and answer essay questions.
Along with filling out an application, two students who applied had to be nominated by the campus president. Ortiz was the only student from South Florida to win the scholarship.
“For these two years I’ve been working part-time, so because I got the scholarship I was able to take a break from my job so that I can focus on the seven classes I am taking,” Ortiz said.
She currently does not know which university to attend.