April 9, 2020 (Atlanta, GA) – Two students from Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School have been named Dell Scholars. High school seniors Tsion Fitsum and Wyae’ Stewart reflect the scholarship’s selection criteria: excellent academics; desire and ability to overcome barriers; and demonstrated need for financial assistance.
The Dell Scholars program, offered by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, is a college scholarship and a support system that provides students with resources during their time in college to help them earn a degree in their chosen field.
The award includes a $20,000 grant given over the course of six years. Additionally, both students will receive a laptop, Chegg textbook credits, a support system to deal with the academic, financial, and emotional life challenges that may prevent students from college, and resources to deal with stress, debt, and life circumstances.
“What is nice about this scholarship is that they [students] not only get the money but can also use it towards graduate school if any is leftover. This is something that may be a real situation for our two students,” said Elisa Buckner the Director of College Counseling at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit.
Tsion Fitsum will be a first-generation college student. She will be attending Georgia Institute of Technology in the Fall of 2020 and plans to major in Biomedical Engineering and Pre-medicine.
Fitsum reveals she was encouraged to apply for the Dell Scholarship because of her college counselor Kentavious Dumas. “I am particularly thankful for his help in guiding me in this process. He helped me revise my essays and gave me daily encouragement and advice. Mr. Dumas inspired me to make use of every free minute that I had to research scholarship opportunities.”
Fitsum expresses her gratitude for all the doors of opportunity that Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School has provided for her and her fellow peers. “Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit has an amazing college counseling department in which our assigned counselor consistently follows up and makes sure we have submitted all requirements for college and scholarship applications. My greatest takeaway is that Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit not only provides us with many resources to succeed, but also prepares us to take responsibility for our tasks.”
Wyae’ Stewart is the second recipient of the Dell Scholars award. Like Fitsum, she will also be a first-generation college student. Stewart plans on majoring in Political Science at Oberlin College in the Fall of 2020.
Stewart’s family motivated her to apply for the scholarship. “Since I was young, my mom said that I had a bright future ahead of me. My family stood behind that and pushed me to strive to be the best. When I do anything, I think about how it will impact them. My goal is to succeed and give back to my family and others who are less fortunate.”
Stewart is especially grateful for Sean, her mother’s boyfriend who helped her with the application process. Stewart says that he was supportive. Sean would proofread her college essays and attend college tours with her.
“In college I am looking forward to making a change and giving back to my community. I am excited to be a part of a family that I will cherish forever. I look forward to growing and evolving into a better version of myself,” Stewart reveals.
Since starting the program in 2004, the Michael and Susan Dell Scholarship has supported over 5,000 scholars, including more than 2,000 college graduates.
About Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means, of any faith or creed, to become men and women for and with others. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience, students graduate prepared for college and life.
About the Cristo Rey Network
The Cristo Rey Network provides a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. Our mission is clear – college success for Cristo Rey Network students. Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education. Students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, and other professional Corporate Partners.