Pirate wins top academic award
Fernando Urrutia was selected as a Boettcher Foundation Scholar.
It is a day of celebration for one Englewood Pirate. Fernando Urrutia was selected as a Boettcher Foundation Scholar. One of the highest academic honors in Colorado.
Urrutia had been patiently waiting for the letter, “I found out over the weekend, on Saturday. I kept checking the mail every day and that day, I checked in the morning around 7 am, around 5 pm, my mom said, “hey, you should go check again. I did and it was inside the envelope. I didn’t wait until I got back home, I opened it right there and I saw a big envelope inside and that’s when I saw the letter that I had the scholarship.”
He says this is a life changer, “This is a huge relief for me. It shows my efforts were worth it. It shows all of the clubs, activities, and things I’ve done for myself had a big impact on my life. At the same time, it made it possible to go to the college of my choice and not have to worry about how to pay for it.”
He will be the first in his family to get a degree., “We came five years ago from Guatemala. I will be the first to go to college in my family. Some of my family went to college but didn’t get a degree. I will be the first.” His family was overwhelmed by the news, “My mom was crying the whole day. She was happy and proud. She never doubted that I would get it. She said because she knows who I am. She said this shows that all of the sacrifices were worth it.”
With this scholarship, Urrutia plans to attend CU Boulder majoring in Aerospace Engineering, “Ever since I was a kid, the whole concept of going to space has been fascinating to me. It’s always been my dream to somehow contribute to this aspect of society.”
He thought Boulder was the perfect fit, “When I went on a tour (at CU-Boulder) besides knowing that they had my major, I just liked the whole atmosphere and it was very welcoming.”
According to the press release, the Boettcher Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition and partial living expenses merit-based academic scholarship awarded to graduating Colorado high school students. Award recipients, like Urrutia, on average, rank in the top 2% of their graduating classes. As of this moment, he is valedictorian, ranked number 1. His grade point average is 4.73. He strives in AP, and honors classes. Here at Englewood, his favorite class is AP Chemistry.
The award is considered “full-ride” and allows Boettcher Scholars to attend any accredited Colorado university for 4 years without significant expenditure by the student. 42 students are awarded Boettcher Scholarships each year, representing about 4% of applicants. They are selected from 100 finalists who are interviewed by the Foundation board. The program was started in 1952 with the intention of keeping high-performing students in Colorado.