JANUARY 9, 2003
CONTACT: Becky Zelinski, 661/664-2138, bzelinski@csub.edu
or Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

Evelina Diaz, a junior double major at California State University, Bakersfield is the recipient of a national scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.

Diaz said receiving the scholarship boosted her self-image and gave her the confidence to pursue her educational goals.

"Before I received this scholarship, I had just planned on achieving my AA (associate of arts degree)," Diaz said. "With this additional help, I've been able to pursue a bachelor's degree and may be the first in my family to achieve a master's degree."

Diaz added that she chose CSUB because it has a good education department and small classes, which gives her more access to her professors.

Each year, 104 students from around the nation are selected to receive the prestigious $10,000 scholarship, which is paid out over a four-year period. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate strength of character by overcoming adversity.

Diaz is a Porterville native who grew up working in the fields alongside her parents. She graduated from Monache High School in 2000 and attended Porterville College for two years. Diaz is majoring in Spanish and education and hopes to teach third grade. She also plans to pursue a master's degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a college professor.

Last year, more than 70,000 students applied for the Horatio Alger National Scholarship. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled fulltime as a high school senior with plans to enter college the fall following their high school graduation. They must be a U.S. citizen, exhibit a strong desire to succeed and demonstrate financial need and community involvement.