We interviewed Ingrid, a senior at Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School in Historic South Central, who was recently accepted into the prestigious Dell Scholars Program. Funded by the Susan & Michael Dell Foundation, the Dell Scholars program equips 500 students with a Dell Laptop, textbook credits, academic resources, mentorship opportunities—and a $20,000 scholarship. In the fall, Ingrid will be attending California State University, Los Angeles where she hopes to pursue a degree in psychology.
Describe the moment you found out that you were chosen to become a Dell Scholar?
I cried, I was so happy. Because in the beginning [of the Dell Scholar application process], I wasn't really in the right state of mind. I was really stuck because I didn't know what my future plans were going to be or like what I was going to do. And then I was working, so that was making me put school and my other priorities to the side. School is my passion, and going to college has been my biggest dream ever. So, I was like you know what, I'm going to quit this job and I'm going to really focus on what’s really important to me.
How Does It Feel?
It feels unreal to me. I still cannot believe that I was chosen to become a finalist. I am very honored to be part of The Dell Scholarship Program representing Animo Ralph Bunche.
You applied in November, but didn’t find out the results until some time in March. How did you handle the suspense?
I just kept manifesting. I just kept thinking that it would be a great blessing to actually become a part of the Dell scholars. I kept having this hope that I was going to get it. And then next thing you know, it turned out to be true and it’s just so amazing.
In your application, you spoke candidly about your mental health struggles and how you overcame them?
I shared, basically my whole story about being low income, how during middle school I was facing depression, anxiety, and suicide. I shared how school, teachers, my loved ones and therapy has really helped me overcome that hardship.It has all made me switch around my life to where I am. I’m now really focused on school and I have a growth mindset.
How did your School support you during this time?
It started like around, seventh grade. I went to Animo Jefferson middle school and so basically, through eighth grade and ninth grade I was receiving therapy in school. At Animo Jefferson I received help from teachers, staff and counselors that made me open up and feel comfortable. To the point where I could go to Animo Ralph Bunche and ask for help without thinking that it might be an issue.
What does getting a college education mean to you?
Since I'm a first-generation [college student] it means alot not only to me but for my parents too. It means that I’m on the right path. Having a college degree will not only help me financially, but it’s going to help me guide my fellow family members that are younger than me.