PHARR, Texas – Representatives from the University of Texas at Austin’s Impact Scholarship surprised two PSJA ISD seniors in their homes with $48,000 checks on Saturday, Dec. 14. 

PSJA Memorial Early College High School Senior Zorayda Sanchez and PSJA North Early College High School’s Daija Esparza were each selected as recipients of this $48,000 scholarship. 

The scholarship recognizes students who are making an impact in their community and covers the cost of tuition for the students’ four years at UT Austin. Sanchez and Esparza were presented with their respective scholarship as part of Impact Texas Day, in which representatives from UT Austin’s Office of Admissions surprised nearly 60 students throughout the state with the awards.  

According to PSJA Financial Aid Officer Erica Ramos, having the opportunity to witness the reactions made all their work worth it.

For Sanchez, who plans to pursue a degree in journalism from UT Austin, the award means being one step closer to achieving her dreams.  “I woke up thinking I was going to Mexico to visit family, but I guess not,” Sanchez said laughing. “I’m just really excited and thankful for everybody who helped me along the way. I’m really going to put this scholarship to good use.”