Natalie Contreras
Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD
The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley

Natalie Contreras, a 2017 graduate of Sonia M. Sotomayor Early College High School in Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD, plans to use her $5,000 TCTA scholarship to study criminal justice at The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.

"I plan to go for my bachelor's in criminal justice, then transfer to St. Mary's University to get into law school," Contreras wrote in her scholarship application. "I am the first generation in my family to get an associate's degrees, and my goal is to be successful and do what I love."

Nominated by counselor Cynthia Martinez, Contreras is motivated to make a better life for herself and her son, graduating at the top of her class. "Natalie has been an advocate for herself and her peers in getting organizations started in our school, such as National Honor Society and Student Council. Her personal strengths are as impressive as her intellectual accomplishments."