by: Nicole Shepard
Representing this year’s 49 Presidential Scholars, Breanna Horito spoke of her journey to UVU beginning with her grandmother’s struggle for education in Japan at the 22nd President’s Scholarship Ball held on Saturday, Sept. 22 in the UCCU Center.
The Presidential Scholarships were awarded to the school’s top students who best represented desire, need and well-rounded promise. Horito, a nursing major from Las Vegas who plans to be a labor and delivery nurse, began her speech to major UVU scholarship contributors with the story of her grandmother’s desire for education.
“There was nothing that my grandmother wanted more than an education, but her uncle would not pay for her to continue, [deeming that] it was indecent for any woman to be educated,” Horito said.
Her grandmother’s dream of bettering herself through learning led her to earn her own way through sewing school by strapping a basket to her back and carrying heavy rocks down the mountainside, away from a construction site.
After becoming a seamstress, Horito explained that her grandmother spent years sewing and selling kimonos to earn enough money to come the U.S.
“She hoped to come to America and go to college,” Horito said, but the economic climate of the Great Depression made it impossible. Horito’s grandmother married and had children who fulfilled her dream of higher education.
All of Horito’s grandmother’s children would eventually obtain a university degree, and now her grandchildren work toward the same.
“My grandmother always said the same mantra to her children as they left each morning for school, ‘be good and study hard.’” Now, Horito said that she wants to “be good and study hard.”
Horito knew that she wanted to come to Utah for school, but the out-of-state tuition loomed heavily for her. While considering attending UVU, Horito said she felt unsure if it would be the best place for her. After coming to campus and learning of the opportunities afforded to students, she decided that UVU was the right place.
Receiving the Presidential Scholarship allows Horito the opportunity of the education she has wanted while removing the burden of out-of-state tuition costs.
“I care about the education of all our students,” said President Matthew Holland. In his speech, Holland discussed education as a right that shouldn’t be denied to those who cannot afford the financial strain.
“For the best-prepared and the least-advantaged, a major key to success is UVU’s ability to provide scholarship,” Holland said.
Charles W. Dahlquist, the evening’s master of ceremonies, spoke of the evening being a combination of a thank you to the institution’s most prominent donors as well as the chance for UVU’s finest students to shine.
Both students and faculty planned, produced and catered the event, and also provided the entertainment. All the students involved, including those that helped with the preparation of food and the pianists, benefit from UVU’s scholarship programs.