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Education is Quay Scholarship Program

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Education is Quay Scholarship Program

Catching up with our 2021 winners.

In 2021, 10 Education is Quay scholarship applicants from all walks of life received $10k each to put toward their education. In honor of their one-year scholarship anniversary, we caught up with them to get the scoop on the exciting things that have happened in their lives since receiving our scholarship. We hope you feel as inspired by their courage, resilience and altruism as we do.

 

GABRIEL SURIEL

What vocational goal(s) is your education helping you reach? 

My goal is to open a social enterprise that marries the arts and the Christian Faith.

How do you hope to use your education to make a positive impact in the world around you?

I aim to empower youth to discover their God-given potential and thrive through art. Since the world has gone into hiding, I’ve noticed a greater pandemic brewing among our youth. The loss of connection. The students I work with today experience anxiety when it comes to connecting with other students or even school staff. I want to be able to be a bridge for students so that they may shine and not be afraid. 

What encouragement would you give future Quay scholarship applicants? 

Do it! You never know unless you try. Quay will forever be engraved in my memories. Quay will always have a special place in my heart. I would not have imagined that a Latina woman from the Bronx with immigrant parents would have the capacity to receive a $10,000 scholarship award. Quay opened my life to possibilities, and they will do the same for you too only if you try. 

HEIDI TANDIONO

How do you hope to use your education to make a positive impact in the world around you?

Growing up, my mission has always been the same. I aim to use my education and knowledge to improve healthcare access and outcomes in underserved communities. 

What have you learned about yourself through your educational journey since receiving Quay’s scholarship?

So much has happened since receiving Quay’s support — both good and bad. Thinking back, I learned that I’m more resilient than I give myself credit for. Sometimes it’s hard to pick ourselves back up when times are tough and that’s okay. We all need time to heal and to keep pushing forward. 

Looking back on the strides you've made and possibilities you’ve discovered since receiving Quay’s scholarship, what advice would you give your younger self before you knew where to begin?

I would tell my younger self to believe in myself more.

VIENNA SPENCE

What have you learned about yourself through your educational journey since receiving Quay’s scholarship? 

That my natural gifts and interests are valid! God shaped me the way I am for a purpose. I used to view college as something you had to do to be successful at a job you didn’t really want. Now I see that it can help you master the things you are passionate about and be a door to you serving your community. My education may look like a patchwork quilt at first glance because the three areas don’t seem related. But I pursued an education that will help me deliver on what I was put here for, not the one I thought would give me job security.  

Looking back on the strides you've made and possibilities you’ve discovered since receiving Quay’s scholarship, what advice would you give your younger self before you knew where to begin?

You may not have had the traditional support systems or opportunities you needed, but don’t let that stop you. Move forward anyway. Try anyway. Pursue what’s in your heart anyway. Knock on doors you think might be impossible to open anyway. You will find inspiration and help in places you least expected it. So, run the race marked out for YOU. Oh. And you really are an artist and entrepreneur!! Stop doubting you can do it for a living and really change the world with it. I’ve seen 2022 love and I’ll give you a hint. The storytellers win 😘  

What encouragement would you give future Quay scholarship applicants?

This is not your average scholarship. This is a family of people truly looking to give back and invest in the journeys and dreams of students they believe in. So, take your time and put your heart down on that page. Really communicate what your education means- the bigger picture. You just might find that there’s a team of people willing to help you get there. And when they say your family, they really do check in on your progress and they care about how your journey is developing. So, shoot your shot.

MAE JING

How do you hope to use your education to make a positive impact in the world around you? 

I will use my degrees to help others on their mental health journeys, especially minority communities and children.

What have you learned about yourself through your educational journey since receiving Quay’s scholarship? 

I've realized how important social justice issues are to me and that I want to incorporate this passion of mine into my future career.

What encouragement would you give future Quay scholarship applicants?

Apply to as many opportunities you can find; believing in yourself is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

DIAMOND BRUNT

What vocational goal(s) is your education helping you reach? 

My education is preparing me to become a well-rounded physician and to have the necessary skills to work collaboratively as a part of a team.

What have you learned about yourself through your educational journey since receiving Quay’s scholarship? 

Applying for Quay’s scholarship revived my love for creativity. I had a lot of fun completing my application and it reminded me of the hobbies that I enjoy.  I realized that my passion for the arts correlates with my interests and has helped me make decisions in medical school.

Looking back on the strides you've made and possibilities you’ve discovered since receiving Quay’s scholarship, what advice would you give your younger self before you knew where to begin?

I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to take time for yourself and do things that you enjoy as a mode of self-discovery. Striving for higher education can be challenging both inside and outside of the classroom and I think it’s important to feel grounded in who you are.

FEBIE LIN

What have you learned about yourself through your educational journey since receiving Quay’s scholarship?

I've learned that my journey is exactly that... MY journey. One thing Quay values as a brand is self-expression, authenticity, and living each day as your unique self. Since receiving the Quay scholarship, I've realized that if Quay can celebrate me for who I am... so can I! I have been slowly learning how to trust my instinct and allow myself to walk the unique path that I am destined to walk. No matter where I end up, I have the confidence to say that I'll not only be okay, but I'll be exactly where I belong. 

Looking back on the strides you've made and possibilities you’ve discovered since receiving Quay’s scholarship, what advice would you give your younger self before you knew where to begin?

Nothing is a waste of your time, as long as you love what you're doing. Your passions do not detract from your goals–they define who you are as a person, and they can play a major role in helping you bring your dreams to life. 

What encouragement would you give future Quay scholarship applicants?

Shoot your shot! At the time I submitted the initial application for the Quay scholarship, I never would've imagined being one of the winners, much less being where I am today. The Quay scholarship has truly changed me for the better, and I could not be any more thankful for their endless support.

VANESSA SERRATO

How do you hope to use your education to make a positive impact in the world around you?

Through my education, I hope to impact the overall health of the environment and populations threatened by climate change. As environmental conditions worsen, I hope to research the conservation of natural resources while considering disadvantaged communities. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the creation of a sustainable and equitable future! 
 
What have you learned about yourself through your educational journey since receiving Quay’s scholarship?

Since receiving the Quay scholarship, I have discovered that it is okay that my interests and passions extend beyond the program I am in! I used to feel confused about my multitude of interests because I thought it meant I was pursuing the wrong thing in my educational journey. However, this past year I have learned that it is healthy and possible to have multiple passions and to further pursue them in whatever way makes sense for you.
 
Looking back on the strides you've made and possibilities you’ve discovered since receiving Quay’s scholarship, what advice would you give your younger self before you knew where to begin?

Reflecting on when I initially received the Quay scholarship and was about to enter my first year of college, I would tell my younger self that college is not so scary and that I do not need to have everything figured out! College is about discovery and growth, and I wish I had placed less pressure on myself to be perfect.

LILIANA GORDON

What vocational goal(s) is your education helping you reach?

I will use my undergraduate education to further my expertise and knowledge in LGBTQ+ sexual health and diversity research. After graduating, I intend to earn my MD/Ph.D. program and become a gynecologist.  

How do you hope to use your education to make a positive impact in the world around you?

I am currently working on a mobile application that is intended to serve members of the LGBTQ+ community with their specific needs. In addition, I hope to use my college education to further my understanding of the medical sciences and LGBTQ+ studies so I may better leverage my work.

What have you learned about yourself through your educational journey since receiving Quay’s scholarship?

Since joining the Quay family, I have learned to combine my academic and advocacy journeys. I had always believed my campaigning work and schoolwork needed to be separate. Now I understand I can authentically live and work as I continue my educational path without sacrificing my vocational goals.

MYRA JAIMES

What vocational goal(s) is your education helping you reach?

My education has taught me how to create and grow new ventures. These skills not only help with starting a business but also becoming an entrepreneur within already established businesses. 

How do you hope to use your education to make a positive impact in the world around you?

I’ve begun to use my education to help individuals in Mexico whom create artwork displaying their culture. I also hope to use my education to educate high schoolers and college students about how to become an entrepreneur and generate revenue within something they’re passionate about. 

What encouragement would you give future Quay scholarship applicants?

APPLY! You’ve got a story different from everyone else and I promise it’ll stand out in one way or another. When I first applied, I did not imagine I’d receive a phone call saying I was a recipient. However, I didn’t let doubt get to me and I applied. Give it your all, be honest, and tell your story.

IAIBA ZAMAN

What vocational goal(s) is your education helping you reach?

I am hoping that attending university will give me the opportunity to further my education and provide me with the necessary tools and experiences I need as someone on the pre-med track.

How do you hope to use your education to make a positive impact in the world around you?

After medical school, my goal is to open up a medical clinic so that I may offer my services as a doctor and give back to the community I was raised in.

What encouragement would you give future Quay scholarship applicants?

Some words of encouragement I would give to future Quay scholarship applicants is that being passionate about something will help you fuel your dreams. It matters to be passionate in what you’re doing for yourself and your future because if you have that drive, the path you're embarking on will come to you naturally.


Quay is all about being the biggest, baddest, boldest version of ourselves. We aim to be a catalyst for personal transformation, spark confidence and create opportunities for self-discovery. Drool-worthy sunnies and glasses aside, we believe education is Quay to realizing our dreams and developing the skills to bring them to life... to understand what makes our hearts beat, understand our purpose and clarify where we fit in in this world.

 

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