The Big Reveal: Tu Futuro Scholarship 2023
By Marie Jacinto
In a darkened studio at television station Univision Houston, high school seniors Ramon Garcia and Emelia Santa Maria nervously sat on two separate couches with their families. They were eagerly awaiting to learn which of them would receive a full-ride scholarship to the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). Behind them sat an audience waiting and watching to see who would “win.” With all the drama of a telenovela, the tension was intense, and the stakes were high.
Welcome to the Univision Contigo Tu Futuro Scholarship reception and ceremony, which took place on April 12 with Director of Community Empowerment Grace Olivares as emcee. Leading up to the big reveal, Dr. Deborah E. Bordelon, UHD Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed the crowd, saying “Tonight we celebrate excellence! This focus on excellence aligns so closely with who we are at the University of Houston-Downtown. These ideas are fundamental to our Strategic Plan: A New Paradigm and emphasizing Enhancing Student Success and Growing as an Anchor Institution.” She thanked the Univision staff for shining a spotlight on UHD and for their promotion of the scholarship opportunity to thousands of high school seniors in the area.
Dr. Daniel Villanueva, Vice President of Enrollment Management, shared personal stories of his watching Spanish-language television with his grandmother and the importance of the medium to the Hispanic community. He also spoke to the value of an education and degree from UHD, and how our University is changing the trajectory of students’ lives and those of their families.
The excitement in the room was palpable when Univision Houston President and General Manager Glenn Coleman took the podium for the moment of truth. He spoke glowingly of Emelia, who wrote in her essay, “I am pursuing a career in STEM to become the change I want to be for my community.” Ramon, who wants to be a medical laboratory scientist and is passionate about fossils (check out his Instagram account @fossil_hunter), credited his parents for the sacrifices they have made.
So which of these amazing students will attend UHD in the fall tuition-free? BOTH! Congratulations, Ramon and Emelia. We are proud to call you Gators!
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.