Climary’s Quest for QuestBridge


Lauren Fox

Climary Sanchez wears her Notre Dame sweatshirt after being matched to the University through the QuestBridge scholarship.

The financial debt that both college applications and attendance places on students limit many future academic opportunities. The QuestBridge Scholarship gives students, who may not be able to attend college otherwise, a chance to go to some of the highest esteemed universities in our country. Each year, around 1,000 students nationwide get matched with one of over 40 college partners and get the gift of attending college for free. This opportunity occurs through the QuestBridge scholarship which links low-income students to U.S colleges and universities.

This year, QuestBridge received almost 16,000 applicants. AHS senior, Climary Sanchez, was one of these applicants. At the beginning of October, after writing countless essays and conducting multiple interviews, Sanchez learned that she had been matched to the University of Notre Dame; she is the first AHS student to ever receive the QuestBridge scholarship.

“My old college counselor nominated me for the QuestBridge summer program as a junior. I applied last March but didn’t put much thought into it since I was already working on another scholarship application. It wasn’t until my ACT tutor recommend that I apply to the regular QuestBridge program that I began to do more research and get really excited about its college partners,” Sanchez said.

Once Sanchez found out that she was a finalist, she had to rank her top choice of schools. Although she ranked Notre Dame as her third choice, she never thought that she would end up in Indiana. Nonetheless, she is very excited about attending next fall.

“I grew up Catholic and have always known that I wanted to continue my religion in college. At Notre Dame, there is a really strong community of Catholicism and religion. In addition, Notre Dame has a lot of school spirit, and I really liked the size of the school,” Sanchez said. “Getting out of Colorado always been my dream. My mom told me that in order to leave the state, I would have to get a really big scholarship, especially since my sister is already in college and my father lives in Colombia, so it is hard for him to support us financially.”

Sanchez hopes that after attending the University of Notre Dame, she will go to graduate school to eventually become a lawyer.

“As a first-generation college student as well as bilingual, I could go back to Colombia, where I was born, and have a good life. But I choose to work hard and get a better education for myself here, ” Sanchez said.