Scholarship News

Each year, we give scholarships to well-qualified and financially deserving students from the Chicago Public Schools.

Read about our talented scholarship recipients below, and consider if you can support our scholarship program »

Letter from Riki Lopez Barajas, our 2022 scholarship winner

It has now been two months since I took a plane from Chicago to Los Angeles. Two months since I began the newest chapter in my life. Initially, the realization of being completely alone in an unfamiliar area petrified me. The first couple of days on campus were the toughest, and I spent them cautiously exploring the university. The environment her at USC us incredibly welcoming, and I’m always meeting new, amazing people wherever I go. Luckily, it wasn’t long before I adjusted and even made good friends in my classes. The fact that the majority of classes are within my major is positively thrilling. I may only be halfway through my first semester, but I truly feel like I have learned so much about computer science and the gaming industry. Oftentimes I find myself wanting more homework after completing my C++programming assignments. I wake up every day motivated and excited to attend my classes and get one step closer to my goal of becoming a video game developer!

My Interactive Media class has already assigned us about three prototype game projects, one of which was individual. These projects are invaluable experiences, which have introduced me to the concepts of game design in the form of board games. I have never felt as ecstatic and proud as when my individual game project caught the eye of my professor, who is the chief operations officer at a virtual reality game development studio!

I want to express my lasting gratitude for the Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Chicago Area for helping me get to where I am today! I am already making big strides and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me!

Riki Lopez
October 21, 2022

Letter from Jose Muniz, our 2020 scholarship winner

My time at Northwestern and as a college student has been quite an adventure thus far. My first year had an unexpected start as the pandemic raged on throughout the world. However, despite the virtual environment we have become familiar with, finding community was not hard. I quickly found home in Northwestern’s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
chapter. I became the Outreach Co-chair for this organization which means that I have worked with high school students and younger generations in underrepresented communities to help them find a passion for education and help them see themselves in a university such as Northwestern. Apart from that, I have created a large network of hard working and bright individuals not only at a local level at Northwestern. But on a national level as well given that SHPE is a national organization. I have even gotten the opportunity to be interviewed by top companies for internships and potentially a future career in their industries. These companies include Accenture, Medtronic, Siemens, 3M, and Walt Disney Imagineering. I am currently waiting for their decisions which should be released by next week.
Being a First-Generation Low-Income (FGLI) student at Northwestern is not easy. Getting interviews with the companies mentioned came with a lot of hard work. Thankfully, I have been given a lot of support from the community around me. Finding ways to help my
parents pay for my education was not a challenge thanks to the generosity of the Phi Beta Kappa scholarship. I have been able to focus on my studies without the need to take on a part time job during the academic year. My life long mission is to give back to my community. To be able to inspire younger generations and to show them that there is no limit to what they can accomplish. My time at Northwestern has allowed me to move towards that goal. I continue to work with local high schools and to provide resources to the youth to find their passion for learning. At the same time, I am learning valuable skills to help even more people through technology, innovation, and engineering.