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EL Student Spotlight: A Conversation With Take the Pledge Scholarship Winner Maria Perez

Where are our Take the Pledge Scholarship winners now? How did their high school experiences prepare them for college life? What have they learned that they can now share with others?

In this bonus episode, we speak with Maria Perez, a recent high school graduate from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We discuss her experience as an English Language Learner, the importance of family and teacher support, future plans, and even the profound influence of Don Quijote. 

Maria was the recipient of one of five $2,000 scholarships that Ellevation awarded to deserving English Language Learners to help them pursue their dream of a higher education. The scholarship is a result of our Take the Pledge initiative. 

The idea is simple: for each person who takes the pledge to advocate for ELLs, Ellevation adds $1 to the scholarship fund. If you haven’t taken the pledge yet, please visit and help support students like Maria, who is currently finishing her first semester at the University of Oklahoma.

During our conversation, Maria mentioned that the book Don Quijote, by Miguel de Cervantes had an important impact on her in high school.