A QuestBridge to the Future

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A QuestBridge to the Future

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Cass High School’s students and faculty are pleased to announce a recipient of the QuestBridge scholarship within their very own walls, Cortaney “Shay” Martin-Jones!

The QuestBridge scholarship is one that “aims to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation’s best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their careers and communities” (QuestBridge). Basically, it is a nonprofit organization that offers full-rides to the most capable applicants, all of which are low-incomes individuals. They cite an amount of over two billion dollars total offered to students through scholarships.

While the program is undeniably an amazing opportunity, that means competition is high. This year, 16,248 applied and only 1,044 passed all stages of the application. Shay, Cass’s own winner, was able to match to her top choice: the University of Southern California. This year, USC only accepted five QuestBridge applicants into their program, making the accomplishment even more exciting; with a grant amounting to around $300,000, Cass has no shortage of pride for the achievements of this young woman.

The application process involves a series of essays, documents, and deadlines with different rounds in order to narrow down the finalists. QuestBridge proudly announces that this year’s College Match Scholarship Recipients “had an average unweighted GPA of 3.93. On standardized testing, the middle 50% received between 1360-1500 on the SAT and between 29-33 on the ACT. 94% are within the top 10% of their graduating class.” Although undeniably these numbers show the drive of QuestBridge scholars, the fact that these accomplishments are represented by those who are from low-income households and have had their fair share of strife truly shows how much effort the students who applied had to put in.

Upon being asked what advice she would give to future QuestBridge applicants, Shay says, “I would advise that they not only showcase their achievements in their application, but the struggles, quirks, and events that have helped to define who they are. It’s not about what you have done; it’s about who you are. In addition to that, if you don’t match to a school in the end, know that there are still ample opportunities out there for you! And if you do match, congratulations! You have finally been given a chance to thrive in higher education and in your future career, one that you may have never had before. Don’t forget to make the most of it. Great things are ahead!”

With a bright future on the horizon, QuestBridge has given Shay a new opportunity to learn and see the world; no matter what, Cass High School is behind her.