Letter to the Editor

I Encourage You to Apply

To the Editor,

A little over a decade ago my life changed for the better when I received a call from the Red Sox Foundation informing me that I had been selected as a Red Sox Scholar.

This year, the Foundation will choose its 20th class of Red Sox Scholars. Because my favorite thing about being a Red Sox Scholar is telling people how special it is, I’d like to share my experience in hopes that it encourages others to apply.

I remember how excited I was to receive that phone call. I went straight to my mother to share the news and we celebrated together. Being selected was a very special moment. I was so very proud of my academic achievements that got me into the program.

Even the actual application for the scholarship was helpful. Completing the essay allowed me to reflect on my career goals and what I wanted to do in the future. Although most 7th graders don’t know exactly what they want to do, it’s important to think about how to set yourself up for success.

In addition to the $10,000 scholarship to help with college, the Red Sox Scholars program is a support network that is there for you from 7th grade through college as you prepare for the real world. Not only has the program influenced my academics, I have also learned many important skills as a result of its workshops. The program’s networking opportunities helped my professional development as I made new connections. My family and I also attended many wonderful events over the years at Fenway, including getting to meet players involved with the program.

I feel blessed to have so many wonderful people available to talk and have a vested interest in my success. Their support has helped me develop as a student, as a professional, and as a person. I am also proud that my siblings have been able to see this program up close because it’s a great reminder of the importance of academics and believing in yourself. As a Red Sox Scholar, I know I’m setting the right example for them.

I became the first member of my family to attend college and that is true for nearly three-quarters of my fellow Scholars. I can truly say that becoming a Red Sox Scholar provided the motivation to reach that goal, so I am thankful for the impact the program has had on me and family.

This year, the Red Sox Scholars Program will welcome its 20th class. If you are a 7th grader in the Boston Public School District or at a Boston Public Charter School, visit redsoxfoundation.org/redsoxscholars to learn more about eligibility and how to apply before submissions close on March 18th.

Diana Valenzuela is an East Boston resident who joined the Red Sox Scholars program in 2011. Diana graduated from Boston Latin Academy in 2016 and Mount Holyoke College in 2020.

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