The scholarship money equates to about $700 per semester, which Ms. Aranda stated would be crucial for her ability to afford continuing her education.
Ms. Aranda is finishing up her last three prerequisites at Owens, where she’ll graduate in December with her RN degree. But she already has and plans to transfer to the University of Toledo to work on her bachelor’s degree in nursing. The Springfield High School graduate wants to be a pediatric nurse someday.
“I’ve always know what I wanted to do, ever since I got to job-shadow with an emergency room doctor while in high school,” she said. “I love little kids.”
Her husband of four years was in the audience with her, calling it a proud moment for him, too. The couple has a five-year old son.
“We’ve had our struggles—and not just relationship-wise. He is my best friend,” said Ms. Aranda. “He’s been there to help take my son to school if I have an eight o’clock class. My dad, my stepmom, and my husband are my support system. My stepmom has watched my son numerous times when I had class.”
Ms. Aranda moved to Toledo at age 14 to live with her dad. Her parents divorced when she was very young.
Ms. Aranda stated she “had to put a dream on hold” when she became pregnant at age 18. But college was always in the back of her mind, as she had to also get a job right away to support her family. Her husband now works third shift at Norplas Industries in Toledo, allowing her to finish school.
Her dream-delayed, not-denied story, she hoped, can be an inspiration to others in the Latino community who are seeking a better future.
“You have to be a bit headstrong” when pursuing that dream of a better life, Ms. Aranda explained. “I don’t want to be saying I should have” later in life, she added.
The scholarship presentation was part of the 25th annual Diamante Awards held Friday, Sept. 26 at Premier Banquet Hall, 4480 Heatherdowns Blvd. The event was created to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of some Latinos in Northwest Ohio.
Bowling Green State University scholarship winners included: Toni Castillo, Kandann Coleman, Kiarra Esselman, Miguel Nava, Anniedalyz Ruiz, Daphanie Ruiz, Diana González, Cynthia Ocana, Juan Pimiento, Adriana Darris, and Alexis Martínez.
University of Toledo scholarship winners included: Jacob Torres, Maria Paulett, Vanessa Rojas, Beatrice Moreno, Domingo Muñiz. Alexis Ortiz, Anita Treviño, Georgina Galindo, Bamery Martínez, and William López.
Lourdes University scholarship winners included: Ashley Thober, Rosa Serrano, María Symeou, Manuela T. Enríquez, Christina Canales, and John T. Adams.
Owens Community College scholarship winners included: Sara Mendoza (two scholarships), Tabitha Mixon, and Robert Santillan (three scholarships).
Herzing University-Toledo scholarship winners included: Vanessa Ladriye and Caleb Díaz.