Grand Canyon University Awards Full-Tuition Scholarships Called “Students Inspiring Students”

Posted by Communications on 11/9/2017

For three years Grand Canyon University has awarded full-tuition scholarships called “Students Inspiring Students” to local high school seniors who have taken advantage of the GCU Learning Lounge, and pledge to work at least 100 hours per year there as college students.

This year, GCU selected the first of 100 students who will receive the four-year scholarships, November 7, with a big surprise.  Twenty-five students and their parents were called to the campus for a financial aid session, but when the projector had “technical difficulties,” they were moved to another room, where a surprise scholarship party awaited.  The students and parents entered to cheers and balloons, and then found out why they were really there.

Of the 25 students, 13 were Phoenix Union students from Alhambra, Metro Tech, Carl Hayden and Betty Fairfax.   According to Joe Veres, the university’s assistant vice president of Student Development and Outreach, the first 25 are “academically gifted students,” who demonstrate financial need, and received 100 or more hours of tutoring at the Learning Lounge, a free after-school tutoring program.  The students had an average GPA of 4.1.

Those students are, from Alhambra: Catherine Ojeda Trujillo; Daniel Angulo Jimenez; David Herrera, Jessica Varea, Joe Lopez and Karina Recamier.  From Metro Tech: Angel Robles, Estephanie Torres; Manuel Espinoza, Paulina Butamonate Martinez and Tania Daniel Garcia.  From Carl Hayden: Osbaldo Zaragoza Barajas; Betty Fairfax: Sofia Larrea-Betz.

“Our Students Inspiring Students (SIS) scholars from 2015 and 2016 who continue to serve in the Learning Lounge, have made a real difference for the high school students they mentor.  Many of those 200 scholarship recipients are the first in their families to attend college, which changes the trajectory of that family for generations to come,” GCU President Brian Mueller said. 

The first Academic Decathlon event of the year is the Phoenix Union Decathlon, which will be   November 17-18 at Camelback High School.  It is not just limited to PUHSD schools.  This year, 20 teams are expected.  The decathlon organizers are looking for volunteers for this event.  No experience is necessary.  It starts with essay scoring, November 15.  Friday, November 17 is when speeches and interviews take place, with training beginning at 4 p.m.  Dinner is provided for volunteers.  Saturday, November 18, there is a need for test proctors in the morning, and the Super Quiz in the afternoon.   For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Sharon Bernero at