The first in her family to attend college, Sussex Tech senior Lizbeth Cortez-Galindo earned a full scholarship to the University of Notre Dame through her participation with TeenSHARP.
TeenSHARP is a regional organization that prepares talented, low-income African American and Latino students in Delaware, Philadelphia and New Jersey to attend the nation’s top colleges debt-free.
Lizbeth was one of only three Delaware seniors in TeenSHARP to have been matched with top universities through a highly competitive program called Questbridge, which drew 18,500 applicants this year and named 1,500 finalists who will attend college at no cost.
“My parents never went to college,” she said. “I’m the first generation to be born here and go to college.”
In her sophomore year, Lizbeth said, her English teacher recommended she look into TeenSHARP. She was accepted and attended summer boot camp at Delaware State University, where she learned how to write resumes and fill out college applications, practiced interviewing skills and applied for internships.
To enter the Questbridge program, Lizbeth had to write an essay and respond to writing prompts. When she was named a finalist, she had to rank her choice of top 12 colleges. First on her list was University of Notre Dame.
“They are affiliated with the Catholic religion, and I was brought up in it, so that was the first thing that attracted me,” she said. “It’s cool they’re Catholic and such an esteemed university.”
Lizbeth plans to study business with a focus on economics, but said she is also interested in political science and pre-law.
At Sussex Tech, Lizbeth is a member of the Business Professionals of America club, plays the flute in the marching and concert bands, and sings in the concert choir.
Outside of school, Lizbeth volunteers for her church and the Freeman Stage, which selected her to its student advisory board for the next two years.