Katie Couric Presents Award to Columbia College Senior

Posted By Adam Aloi - 05/27/2014

Columbia College senior Emelin Garcia is a recipient of the first-ever Scholarship America Dream Award announced on May 23 on “Katie”, Katie Couric’s daytime television show. Emelin was among twelve student finalists welcomed by Katie Couric to the show, filmed earlier this week in New York City.

The Dream Award is Scholarship America’s newest scholarship program for financially needy students who have overcome barriers and have successfully started their college education. Awards were made to 12 students selected from across the nation who are entering their second year or higher of education beyond high school. Scholarship America awarded more than $150,000 to this first group of students, with scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 based on the individual student’s financial need.

Emelin is an accomplished scholar and student athlete majoring in biology and spanish at Columbia College. Earlier this year, she received the prestigious Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders presented at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute annual conference held in Chicago. She has also been selected as one of fifteen students to attend the ASPIRE pre-medical program at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine this summer. As a member of Columbia College’s soccer team, Garcia was named a 2013 Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete. She also received 2013 All-Academic honors from the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

Emelin’s career goal is to practice in the field of Pediatrics and complete her residency in a medically-underserved community. She is a dedicated volunteer translator and teen mentor, and dreams of working with children who do not have access to adequate health care. During school breaks, Emelin works two or three jobs to cover college expenses. “Despite the disadvantages and adversities I have faced in trying to reach my dreams, they have always served as a motivation to work harder and never give up,” says Emelin.

To watch the show, visit http://katiecouric.com/2014/05/23/winning-a-scholarship/. For more information on the award, visit http://scholarshipamerica.org/dream_winners_2014.php.