Holy Ghost Prep senior Tomas Vallejo Gutierrez, a Mayfair resident, last week learned that he received a QuestBridge National College Match scholarship.
Tomas will be heading to the University of Chicago to study political science on a full four-year scholarship worth more than $200,000 granted by QuestBridge, a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors with financial need with full four-year scholarships to the nation’s top colleges.
“Tomas is an exceptional student who brought his unique gifts to Holy Ghost Prep and has blossomed into a campus leader during his time here,” said Holy Ghost president Gregory J. Geruson. “Earning a full scholarship to the University of Chicago, one of the finest schools in the country, is a great accomplishment. We are so proud of Tomas.”
Tomas said, “I finally felt that I could breathe and so could my parents, because they wouldn’t have to give a single penny (for me to attend college). My mom couldn’t believe it, she started crying. When my dad returned from work he was also ecstatic, but not too thrilled by the fact that I would be moving more than 10 hours away.”
Tomas attended St. Martin of Tours, and attends HGP as a Maguire scholar. He is an honor roll regular with a 4.2 GPA. He has competed for Holy Ghost Prep’s speech and debate program and served as president of the Spanish Club and a board member of the school’s Ghost Around the World and CAFÉ (Cultural Awareness for Everyone) programs.
After completing his Holy Ghost school day, Tomas heads to Inn Dwelling, a Germantown after-school program, three days per week. Inn Dwelling enlists professional English, math, science and history teachers to work directly with the students to help them with their homework. In addition, Inn Dwelling takes its students on three college visits, has an ACT prep coach and provides other learning opportunities.
“I could not have accomplished this without the support of both Holy Ghost Prep and Inn Dwelling,” said Tomas, who wants to be a lawyer. “Holy Ghost has truly prepared me for my collegiate life. The teachers at Ghost have taught me discipline, hard work, organization, responsibility, integrity, curiosity and, most importantly, that if I want to make a change then I shouldn’t wait for someone else to make it happen. All of those lessons led me to be a better student and become actively involved in organizations both inside and outside of school.
“Inn Dwelling has been a constant in my life since grade school. In fact, I would not have been able to attend Holy Ghost without the accountability and hard work that was instilled in me there on top of the amazing tutors that helped me with every obstacle that I encountered. Even in high school, Inn Dwelling has given me access to resources that I normally wouldn’t have access to like ACT prep or an endless amount of scholarship opportunities. Inn Dwelling has also given me the opportunity to be a leader in their many service-oriented activities like Thanksgiving dinners at St. Vincent’s or their annual community-building retreats.”
The scholarship covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies and travel expenses. ••