We’d like for you to meet Elizabeth, one of the Guardino Affordable Housing Scholarship awardees of 2020.
Elizabeth’s life was marked by movement but also staying in place around Turlock, a town in Stanislaus County. Before she turned 17 she had lived in seven different places – doubling up in houses of extended family members or crowded apartments where she lived with her sisters and her mom. ,But by her early teens, the family found affordable housing at Avena Bella apartments which allowed the family to truly put down roots and made it easier for the family to make friends.
She called Avena Bella “a safe haven sent from above,” and having a secure and affordable place to live gave the family stability as Elizabeth worked her way through high school: consistently staying on the honor roll as she got involved in the Hispanic Youth Leadership Council, the Distinguished Young Women of Turlock, and other activities. She also followed her passion in public speaking and took Speech and Debate. With an eye on costs, she chose California State University Stanislaus and applied to many scholarships as she could to afford tuition. Through the Avena Bella newsletter, she learned of the Guardino Affordable Housing Scholarship, and named a 2020 awardee right about the time of her socially distanced high school graduation.
Elizabeth plans to use the $3,000 Guardino scholarship to help pay for tuition, books and other supplies needed for CSU, and plans to take her education and love of public speaking to a future career as a teacher in California. ”I am grateful for this opportunity,” Elizabeth told us. “It has opened wonderful doors that I didn’t know were possible for me.”