Congratulations to Jorge Soto, a former Goshen High School student who is now a sophomore at Goshen College majoring in chemistry. Jorge is among the group of first-generation students from Indian’s independent colleges and universities honored at the 28th annual “Realizing the Dream” banquet last month.  Jorge was nominated by Goshen College faculty his outstanding academic and extracurricular achievement in his first year at college.

As a “Realizing the Dream” honoree, Jorge received a $2,500 scholarship. He also was asked to select his/her “most influential” teacher or mentor. Jorge chose Ben Elias, an English Language teacher at Goshen High School whom he described as allowing him to “understand that the things that made me different from other students were the things that made me unique.” As the most influence teacher, Mr. Elias receives a $1,000 professional development grant.

Jorge plans to complete his studies with the expectation to use his chemistry degree to help improve his community and the world.

Congratulations to Jorge and to his former high school teacher, Ben Elias.

Realizing the Dream is a program that acknowledges first-generation college students for outstanding achievement in their freshman year and are now in their sophomore year. Funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. since 1989, the program was conceived and developed by three individuals who had themselves been first-generation college students — Dr. William C. Bonifield, then Vice-President for Education, Lilly Endowment, and now retired Director of McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship, Depauw University; Mr. William DuBois Jr., then President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Indiana, and now retired Executive Assistant for Public Relations, Ivy Tech Community College; and Dr. Louis C. Gatto, then the retiring President of Marian College (University), and the former Executive Director of the Indiana Educational Facilities Authority.

This post was created thanks to a collaboration with Lori Martin, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent/PR, Goshen Community School.

Indiana’s urban schools offer Hoosier students a rich array of programs, services, and opportunities. IUSA appreciates the opportunity to share the stories that demonstrate what the schools have to offer and the many successes their students, faculty and staff achieve.

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