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COMMUNITY CHAMPION: Bel Air Senior earns coveted scholarship

A Bel Air Senior is making her dreams become a reality as she became one of only 500 students nationwide, and the only one in El Paso, to earn the Coca-Cola Scholarship.

“It’s just such a humbling experience,” Vanessa Carrillo, a senior at Bel Air High School, told ABC-7.

Apart from earning the Coca-Cola scholarship, Carrillo also earned the prestigious Dell Scholarship. She has currently earned $40,000 in scholarships.

Carrillo says her inspiration and desire to work hard and succeed comes from her family.

“All due to my sister…[and] my brother,” she said. “They were the first ones to say use college and use whatever you have…and every other opportunity you can get in high school. Use it to your advantage.”

Her parents are immigrants from Juarez. She says they sacrificed a lot so she could pursue the American Dream.

“My parents made the sacrifice for me and their children and I’m going to make their time and their sacrifices worth it,” she said.

The sacrifices of her parents taught her to work hard and she wants others to learn to do the same.

“Take advantage of any opportunities that are out there,” Carrillo insists. “As long as you have the will, the desire and the grit to be able to do anything, just put your mind to it and it will work out.”

However, she doesn’t create hard work only for her success.

“Maintaining with that faith that my parents instilled with me,if it weren’t for God, I would not be here,” she asserted. “I one hundred percent believe that.”

She has applied to 25 universities, including Ivy League schools, and wants to study marketing. She hopes she can use her story and her education to help others in the future.

“Maybe in the future create a non-profit that helps young girls,Latina’s preferably, who want to pursue a career in business and maybe do a non-profit to help them. That guides them,” she said.

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