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Meet Our Scholarship Winner: Gilardo Chaidez

College & Career Readiness, Who We Are | 07/18/2017

Melissa Molina
Development Manager

Melissa is the Development Manager of Stand for Children Arizona.

We are excited to announce that we're piloting a scholarship program in partnership with College Success Arizona (CSA). We opened the scholarship application process to high schools who participated in our 2016-17 tutoring programs for the Alhambra and Murphy School Districts. Our tutors attend Alhambra High School and Carl Hayden High School. The three $2,500 scholarships were awarded in June 2017. 

Our scholarship program will ensure that we continue to attract high school honors students who are critical to the success of our growing tutoring programs, thus allowing us to create programming which specifically supports high school students in the Phoenix Union High School District. Now, we get to work with College Success Arizona to follow the academic progress each student makes throughout their first year of college and, hopefully, beyond.

Meet the first of our three 2017 winners: Gilardo Chaidez!

Gilardo Chaidez was born in Bakersfield, California and raised in Phoenix. He started his education at a local school named Lela Alston Elementary and gained a love for math and science around the second grade. That morphed to an interest in engineering and, later, aeronautical engineering specifically. In middle school, Gilardo learned about the aerospace engineering field through his English teacher, who had a brother who worked in the field. The manner in which the teacher spoke of the field led to Gilardo wanting to become an aeronautical engineer.   

At Alhambra High School, Gilardo joined the Achieving a College Education program (ACE) his sophomore year. It enabled him to take college classes at Phoenix College while still attending high school. Through the ACE program, he became more outgoing, becoming more involved in his high school. He later joined the Recycle Club and the National Honor Society. At the start of his junior year, he was informed about a tutoring program after school; it was in collaboration with the National Honor Society. Gilardo attended the tutoring program through his junior and senior years of high school. Working with children reminded him of the value of getting an education. The dedication demonstrated by both the children and parents in the program served as a reminder of what the ultimate goal of the program is: a better, more accessible education.   

Gilardo recently graduated from Alhambra High School in the class of 2017 with nearly 30 college credits earned through the ACE program and dual-enrollment classes. He is starting college in August at Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering within Arizona State University. Gilardo plans on earning a bachelor’s degree there in Aerospace Engineering with a focus in Aeronautical Engineering. He hopes for many internships that offer insight and connections into the field in which he hopes to be working. After earning a four year degree at ASU, he plans on going to graduate school out of state or earning a Doctorate at ASU. Once finished with his education, he wants to work in the private sector of aerospace engineering, hopefully for a major company such as Boeing.  

The Stand for Children scholarship will make Gilardo’s transition to college an easier one. The cost of college was one of the main factors that Gilardo took into consideration when pursuing a college education. Gilardo hopes to focus on the academics and become accustomed to the college style of learning.  

Congratulations to Gilardo on his achievements!

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