Announcing our 2022 Scholarship Winner – Ricardo Barajas-Lopez
This year’s winner is Ricardo Barajas-Lopez, a senior at Back of the Yards High School. An excellent student, he is also active in both the gaming and poetry clubs. He will be attending University of Southern California in the fall.
Here is Ricardo’s letter to our scholarship committee:
Ever since I was three years old, I’ve had an unfathomable passion for video games and I knew that I wanted to become a video game developer. My ultimate goal has been to work for Nintendo, whose video games are the reason behind my interest in computer science and programming. Video games are becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives, and I would love to work with the gaming giant to inspire others to pursue the field. However, to work in such a prestigious company I knew I would need to stand out.
Once I was in high school, I began searching for colleges that offered programs that would make my dream a reality. The University of Southern California was everything I wanted. The computer science games program USC offers is like none other. From game design to 3D modeling, it covers many of the aspects that go into development and combines two of my interests seamlessly – computers, gaming and art. 3D modeling is essential because it is the framework for the visuals, and can be one of the first impressions an audience has of a game. I believe the courses offered there will be rigorous enough to fully prepare me to become a successful game developer. I am most especially excited about the semester long gaming projects, which will truly put my knowledge and creativity to the test.
I have always treated school as a gateway to opportunities far beyond my wildest dreams. All throughout high school and middle school, I have given my academics my full attention and earned outstanding grades on every report card. The fruits of my labor came in the form of an acceptance letter from USC. This university offers one of the best programs in the country, but has a very expensive tuition. Financial aid from USC and FAFSA were not enough to cover full tuition and that’s where Phi Beta Kappa swooped in to save the day.
With all of the gratitude in my being, I accept the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Chicago Area scholarship. I had always known that paying for college was a challenge my family would face. I feared the financial burden tuition would have on us, yet the PBKACA has made attending the University of Southern California a reality.
Ricardo Lopez Barajas