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Announcing our 2019 Scholarship Winner – Yailin Benitez

This year’s winner is Yailin Benitez of Prosser High School. She will be attending the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign in the fall. She plans to major in education and then go on to become an elementary school teacher.

Yailin Benitez

Yailin Benitez, 2019 PBKACA Scholarship Winner

Here is Yailin’s letter to our scholarship committee:

Thank you for giving me the honor and privilege for being this year’s scholarship recipient. I guarantee that the money I have been gifted will be put towards financing many educational opportunities that will make you proud. The revelation of being this year’s scholarship recipient has come as a great surprise, a miracle truly.

PBKACA has changed my life for the better in two ways, by offering financial support as well as empowering me as a young female. Like many students in Chicago, I come from a low-income minority family. One of the biggest challenges I face due to my situation is that my future has always been uncertain. Not because of my potential or academic capabilities, but rather the ability to financially support my endeavors. I have always been eager to learn, and I knew from a young age that I wanted to go to university. While I studied vigorously to succeed academically, I dealt with self-doubt and anxiety. In the back of my mind, I persistently feared my efforts would be fruitless. I always knew that my family would never be able to afford university tuition fees. My mind is now better at ease with the financial support PBKACA has given me. I am extremely grateful that my dream to further my education has become a reality.

In regards to PBKACA empowering me as a young female, the Scholarship Committee highlighted the power and impact a woman can have in the modern world. One of the first things I noticed during my interview is that the organization itself is lead by strongly independent, compassionate, intelligent, and hard-working women. In a male-dominated society, it is truly inspiring to see women having important and prestigious positions in the workforce. It has made my ambitions to one day achieve great things to become more realistic in my mindset. I am more motivated and hopeful that I too can one day inspire young people to pursue furthering education to make their dreams a reality. With the $5,000 scholarship, I will be able to pursue my dream of becoming an elementary school teacher, a job in which I can cultivate and nurture the goals and ambitions of generations of young students.

I am excited to attend the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign this fall and to see how the next four years will unfold. The money I have been given will go towards purchasing books, school supplies, housing expenses, studying abroad, etc. Thank you again Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Chicago Area Scholarship Committee for the honor of receiving this year’s scholarship.

With best regards,

Yailin Benitez