Jessica’s parents immigrated from Mexico without job prospects or a command of the English language. Her area’s local high school was shut down for failing to meet minimal academic standards. Incomes and prospects in the community were dim. But an ACE scholarship shone a light on a whole new world of opportunity!

It certainly wasn’t easy. At age 11, she had to wake up at 5:00 am, walk to a bus stop, ride that bus to another bus stop, and then wait to catch another bus to her school. With after-school sports and yearbook, she often didn’t get home until 9:00 pm. It was exhausting. Unrelenting. And totally worth it.

At her ACE partner school, Jessica grew in confidence and developed a passion for innovation, equality and social justice. She gained life skills and eventually became the first one in her family to graduate from an accredited college (Trinity University).

Today, she’s a full-time software engineer who speaks three languages (English, Spanish, and French) and is familiar with 13 different computer programming languages. She’s also an entrepreneur, running a photography business on the side.

At 23 years old, Jessica is making a six-figure income—which is more than her parents will earn in four years. That’s not something she likes to brags about, but it’s something she’s grateful for, knowing that it was only made possible through the generous support of ACE donors who funded her scholarship.

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