In October 2019, the 2020 DC Teacher of the Year and Capital City 7th Grade Science Teacher, Mr. Lopez-Cardoze established the LoCa STEM Scholarship hoping to provide a Capital City student with a $10,000 scholarship by raising $5,000 to match his own contribution from his award, and thanks to the generosity of many around the country, he raised $20,000!
“Mr. Lopez-Cardoze’s story is so uplifting and encourages me to keep going.” This scholarship “reminds me to believe in something bigger than yourself. It really makes a difference for those who are struggling,” says Evelyn.
Evelyn knew she wanted to be a doctor at a young age. She recalls her pediatrician explaining to her what it would take to become a doctor and feeling excited to know what she needed to do to reach her goals. At Capital City, Evelyn has immersed herself in honors and AP courses and has especially loved her science courses. She credits Capital City and her teachers with preparing her for her future career, especially the many research projects and presentations she has done, such as her senior expedition project and National History Day competitions in 9th and 10th grades.
Originally from El Salvador, Evelyn’s dream is to become a STEM leader through the medical field. Inspired by her surroundings and Dr. Helen Rodriguez, she wants to improve the health care needs for the Latinx community and other underserved populations. “It is important to diversify the medical field; we need more STEM leaders in the medical field that are Black and Latinx and I hope to be a part of this change.”
Outside of Capital City, she participated in the DC Health and Academic Prep Program in 2018 and attended a summer program at Duke University in 2019, where she took college biology courses. With the coronavirus pandemic, Evelyn feels that her career choice is more relevant than ever. “I see doctors trying to cure this and other diseases […] They’re always trying to help people,” she says.
Evelyn has already been accepted to a handful of universities, and this scholarship will help her determine which she can afford to pursue. As the top LoCa STEM recipient, she will receive $15,000, spread out over three years.
With the coronavirus pandemic, Ana feels even more inspired to be a nurse as she says, “you see nurses helping during this crisis, and it’s life-threatening, but they’re still doing their jobs.”
Ana grew to love STEM during her freshman Biology and Algebra courses at Capital City. During her sophomore year, her chemistry teacher “really inspired me. She was always talking about scientists, and later I learned about nursing.”
An honors student, Ana always wanted to pursue a career that helped people and is excited that nursing joins her love of math and science with caring for people. She knows this career will require her to demonstrate courage, commitment and persistence to reach her career goals. She’s especially interested in working with kids, because “many times they are the ones that are the most vulnerable; yet, they demonstrate such happiness during difficult times, which touches my heart.”
Ana is constantly encouraging her friends and siblings to take part in technology programs and shares the same vision as her role model, Computer Scientist Laura Gomes, to inspire young women to become interested in STEM and bring about a change in the world.
Originally from El Salvador, she draws a lot of her motivation and drive from her parents, who she credits with showing her how to work hard. Ana also credits her Capital City teachers for always supporting her and believing in her. While she has not decided on a university yet, her top choice currently is Trinity Washington University. The $5,000 she will receive will be instrumental in helping her pay tuition this coming school year.
Ana and Evelyn will both be first-generation high school graduates and college students. “As two women of Latinx origin, the STEM field will be stronger and more diverse because of their contributions and unique experiences, backgrounds, and identities” - Mr. Lopez-Cardoze.
Support more students like Ana and Evelyn this year through a donation to the Community Values Scholarship, which supports Capital City seniors who have demonstrated the school’s community values of compassion, courage, contribution, integrity, and self-discipline.