NKU freshman Luis Loza receives inaugural Dream Award scholarship on today's nationally syndicated ABC talk show 'Katie'

For immediate release…
Friday – May 23, 2014

Northern Kentucky University freshman mechanical and manufacturing engineering technology major Luis Loza was awarded a Scholarship America Dream Award scholarship today during the nationally syndicated ABC daytime talk show “Katie," hosted by Katie Couric.

Loza, a graduate of Elliott County High School, is one of 12 students nationwide to receive the scholarship award, which is funded from proceeds of Couric’s book “The Best Advice I Ever Got.” Recipients will receive between $5,000 and $15,000 annually, growing by $1,000 each year until graduation. Financial need will be considered in determining specific award amounts.

To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or granted deferred action status under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals); have received a high school diploma or the equivalent from a U.S. school, by September 2014; have completed or expect to successfully complete a minimum of one full year of postsecondary education by June 2015; plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at the sophomore year level or higher at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical college in the United States for the entire 2015-16 academic year; have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and demonstrate financial need.

Loza and his brother were adopted by their caretaker after their mother was forced to return to her home country, Mexico. Their caretaker researched options for the boys and found DACA, which allows a college education and employment for two years but restricts access to federal financial aid. As a result, Loza, who is two credits shy from being a sophomore, has worked many different jobs to help cover his tuition, including working as a hay stacker, tutor, painter, farm worker, house cleaner, and yard worker.

“Thirty years from now, I would consider my life successful if I were able to support my family and provide a peaceful home life while having a profession that fulfills me,” he said.

Other winners of the inaugural Dream Award include Lucy Tang (UC Berkeley), Charlene Hinton (Syracuse), Takashi Yanagi (Notre Dame), Hector Najarro (Georgia Tech), Sarah Ashcraft (Ball State), Mirrella Bautista (University of La Verne), Rodrigo Telles (UC Berkeley), Shelby Wilson (Mississippi State), Janelle Wiser (Findlay), Ryan Bosela (Pittsburgh Technical Institute), and Emelin Garcia Nieto (Columbia College).

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