Jacob Fraga, a senior at Harlingen High School South, is one of 11 Latino honorees to be awarded the John S. Martínez Leadership Scholarship by the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL).
“I am humbled to receive this scholarship,” said Fraga. “It’s a national scholarship, and many people applied for it. So, I was ecstatic when I heard the news. It’s just an overwhelming experience for me.”
The John S. Martinez Leadership Scholarship program is specifically designed to help Hispanic high school students achieve educational success. Fraga will receive a $4,000 grant for the first two years of college tuition.
Fraga plans to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. Several factors have led him to this field such as creating different objects out of Legos as a young child, a growing affinity for math and science, and his personal experiences of family members battling medical conditions.
“I have always loved engineering. When I was little I liked to construct different objects especially with my Legos, and I’ve always had a passion for math and science,” he said. “When I came to high school, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my brother had a tumor that needed to be removed from his head. As I’d visit my family in the hospital, I started to look around for what kinds of jobs were available as well as who would work at those types of hospitals. That’s when I came across biomedical engineering.”
Now in his final year at Harlingen South, he said he’ll remain focused on making the most of the opportunities that come his way. He is most of all thankful for his family who has supported him all these years.
“I love my parents and that I appreciate every single thing that they do for me,” he said. “They go above and beyond to promote my learning throughout high school.”
Fraga will be honored by his state legislator in a ceremony later this year for receiving the John S. Martínez Leadership Scholarship.
The program has been implemented within the 43 states and territories that have Hispanic state legislators and is made possible thanks to the Comcast Foundation and Honda. Students receiving the scholarship will be provided the grant upon graduation from high school and acceptance to a higher education institution. Support for the second year is provided upon satisfactory completion of the first year.