2014 Scholar Stephanie Montalvan is wrapping up her freshman year at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she’s studying to be a Chemical Engineer. Never one to stay idle, the Houston native and KIPP Houston High School Graduate recently joined Bryn Mawr’s rowing team, and says it was one of her best college decisions thus far. Recently she sent us these pictures of the campus, and boy it sure looks chilly up there for a Texan! She also thanked us for the countless care packages writing, “They always come at just the right time and are always filled with the sweetest of love.”
Stephanie knew from an early age that she was meant to be a leader. The avid volunteer split her time during high school between class, sports, and many educational organizations including the Houston Health Museum, The Children’s Museum of Houston, and the City Wide Club. She was President of her class in both her freshman and sophomore years, and still managed to find time to be a member of the KIPP Elite Dance Team. She also began working on her goal of becoming a Chemical Engineer, by participating in Baylor College of Medicine’s “Saturday Morning Science” program, Engineering Camp at UT Arlington, and Rice University’s Dream Club, where she and her team won a scholarship for winning first place.
Improving her local community wasn’t enough for Stephanie. Before her junior year at KIPP, she volunteered for “Amigos de Las Americas” and traveled to the Dominican Republic, where she spent time teaching children, and helping build a park for the community. She then chose to uproot her life, and spend her junior year of high school as a BP “Global Citizens of Tomorrow” Scholarship award winner in South Africa. A decision she says made her fully understand her responsibility and duty in the world.
Stephanie’s teachers at KIPP also recognized her initiative, and her ability to tackle problems in many different ways. Her Geometry teacher Ms. Pfister praised Stephanie as a student of exemplary character, displaying values she would encourage in all of her students.
I deeply admire her concern and respect for others, as well as her passion for learning and appreciation of new experiences. Stephanie serves as an exemplar of the character values that all students should personify both inside and outside of school including tenacity, optimism, and zest.
We at the Steve Francis Foundation agree, and hope our care packages are keeping her warm on the snowy campus.