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Scholarship Spotlight: Katrina Gutierrez


Smith graduate Katrina Gutierrez is a recipient of the Ana and Armando Lopez scholarship. We caught up with Katrina to learn about how receiving the scholarship made a difference in where she would attend college. Learn more about Katrina and her perspective on receiving a scholarship from the SAISD Foundation below.

What high school did you attend and when did you graduate?

I graduated from Lanier High School in 2019.

Where and what are you studying and what is your anticipated graduation date?

I graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts May 2023 and majored in Neuroscience. 

How did the scholarship make a difference in your success at university? 

Going to college is pricey, going to college out of state is often even more expensive. Applying and getting accepted to college was the first step in my post-secondary educational career, but finding the funds to attend college turned out to be a bigger determinant of where I would end up going. Smith College is a part of the Seven Sisters, a consortium that allowed women the educational equivalent of the all-male Ivy League schools in the late 1800s.

While attending this college became a dream of mine after touring with the SAISD-funded college trips, covering the amount of tuition would mean loans and eventually debt. The scholarships I was awarded diminished this stress, simultaneously encouraging me to attend Smith despite its cost. I avoided taking out loans, and although I was on work-study, taking a second job in addition to being a full-time student was not necessary.

What advice would you have for rising seniors applying to college and scholarships?

Take time to participate in fun activities and make memories with friends, but be sure to apply for all colleges you want (even if you feel like you might not get in)! Although it can be time-consuming, apply to all the scholarships you can (free money!!), network with everyone, and try not to stress yourself out although I know that is easier said than done!

What would you like to say to our donors who have awarded you your scholarship?

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I would not have been able to get through my college years without your support! Transitioning to college halfway across the country is tricky, but knowing people like you believed in me even at times when even I questioned myself pushed me to be here four years later, graduated from a prestigious college with a degree in neuroscience, ready to tackle whatever comes next.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

To the students – college can be intimidating, but I believe in you, truly! It will be difficult more times than not but at the end of it, “it” being whatever route you decide to take, all the difficult times will mix with the good and it will have been worth it.


The SAISD Foundation works to help students in their goals. For Katrina, the Ana and Armando Scholarship made a difference in where she went to school and the expereiences she had while attending Smith College. To learn more about our scholarships and how to create one, visit 

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