After overcoming language barrier, Steamboat Springs High School student earns 3.8 GPA, scholarship |

After overcoming language barrier, Steamboat Springs High School student earns 3.8 GPA, scholarship

CMC Alpine Bank Scholar on her way to nursing career

Daniela Lujano, a recent graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, is among the 14 students who received the 2017 Alpine Bank Latino/Hispanic Scholarship to attend Colorado Mountain College. Lujano plans to study nursing. photo: Phil Dunn

Now a 2017 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, more than a decade ago, Daniela Lujano was a young girl from Michoacán, Mexico, who spoke only Spanish.

"It was not until I moved to Colorado when I felt as if I were in a foreign world," Lujano wrote in her application for an Alpine Bank Latino/Hispanic Scholarship, which is offered to deserving high school students living in communities with Alpine Bank and Colorado Mountain College locations.

With the help of the scholarship, Lujano will attend Colorado Mountain College, Steamboat Springs, in the fall. Along with 13 other recipients who come from five Colorado counties, these students will each receive a renewable scholarship worth $2,200 each year to help cover the cost of tuition fees and books for two years.

"I plan to attend CMC for two full-time years to complete as many required courses as possible for my bachelor of science in nursing, in order to minimize the cost of tuition, housing and transportation," Lujano said. "Afterwards, I will transfer to the University of Colorado in Denver to complete the remaining courses for my (nursing degree). Finally, I will apply for a position as a registered nurse in a hospital in Colorado."

Among other factors, Lujano's excellent high school grades, participation in concurrent enrollment classes at CMC while in high school and strong written application secured her selection for the scholarship.

"I wish to pursue the medical field, because it coincides with my interests and personality type," Lujano wrote in her application. "The medical profession provides the individual the emotional satisfaction of having helped an ill or injured patient."

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Alpine Bank has been awarding these specialized scholastic awards to qualified students since the program began in 1996 and, to date, has financed more than 200 scholarships. Recipients must be of Latino/Hispanic descent, classify as an in-district student, have at least a 2.5 GPA and demonstrate financial need, among other criteria.