PHARR – Five Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD high school students were recently named recipients of the prestigious Dell Scholarship. The recipients are Anna Sanchez from PSJA Early College HS; Samantha Enriquez from PSJA North Early College HS; and Alliya Alaniz, Angelica Godinez and Orlando Ochoa from PSJA Memorial Early College High School. They will each receive $20,000 to complete their post-secondary education over the course of six years.

The Dell Scholars program, an initiative of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, recognizes students who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their education. The program places greater emphasis on a student’s determination to succeed than just academic record and test scores. The scholarship includes $20,000, a laptop, textbook credit and assistance throughout their college careers.

Alliya Alaniz, from PSJA Memorial received her Associate Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from South Texas College last December, an entire semester before graduating from high school. She is thankful for the opportunity to start college early.

"Receiving this award means everything to me,” said Alaniz, who plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin this fall. “I am grateful to PSJA for preparing me by motivating me, challenging me and guiding me.”

In addition to graduating from high school, four of the five seniors will be graduating with Associate Degrees from South Texas College this May.

Ochoa, who plans to attend UT-Austin, will receive an Associate Degree in Sociology from South Texas College. Both Sanchez and Enriquez will be receiving an Associate Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from STC, and they also plan to attend UT. Godinez plans to attend Texas A&M University in Laredo, she will be graduating with 32 college hours.