National Hispanic Merit Scholars

Two RHS Bears recognized as National Hispanic Scholars
National Hispanic ScholarsRifle High School senior Mariana Sauceda wants to work in a body shop - a human body shop of the future.

“I want to focus on biomedical engineering. What interests me is the idea of creating artificial organs,” explained Mariana.

When she was younger, her grandpa became sick and spent quite a bit of time in the hospital.

“I remember he got diabetes towards the end of his sickness, The idea of creating an artificial heart, artificial lungs, or an artificial liver, is motivated by my grandpa. At the same time, it would help a lot of people by reducing the wait our transplant lists,” she explained.

Her classmate, Andres Guerrero, plans on becoming an engineer, but he is still undecided on what specialization - mechanical engineering, software engineering or specializing in robotics.

“I want to program robots and create and design the technology,” said Andres. I’m considering Colorado School of Mines and they are very focused on being environmentally productive through technology, but I'm still kind of exploring my options.”

Both will receive some assistance as they begin their bold plans, and their career exploration. Mariana and Andres have been recognized as Scholars in the College Board's National Hispanic Recognition Program based on their NMSQT scores from last year.

According to the Compass Education Group’s web site, The National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes approximately 5,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors each year from among the more than 400,000 juniors who take the PSAT placing them in the top two percent of all PSAT takers nationwide. The NHRP program requires a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and although it does not come directly tied to financial awards or scholarships, earning the designation does open doors with colleges and universities for financial aid.

Financial aid will be helpful for both as Mariana is considering Colorado schools such as Colorado State, CU-Boulder and options in Utah and California while Andres is considering Cal Poly, several Ivy League schools in addition to CU-Boulder.

Both Andres and Mariana are diploma candidates in Rifle High School’s International Baccalaureate program. As part of the IB program, diploma candidates complete an extended essay. Andres wrote his essay on the comparison of a Japanese book, “The Woman in the Dunes” by Kobo Abe to “1984” by George Orwell. Mariana’s extended essay examined the different sugar concentrations of food by ethnicity and the impact on diabetes.
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