A Los Angeles student is among just 20 scholars nationally who will be honored with a 2022 Dream Award scholarship, at a dinner and award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 16. The Dream Award, an annual award program of Scholarship America,  is given to students who have overcome challenges to fulfill their college dreams. 

Devon Woodfine graduated from View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter High School. Since 2009, he has balanced work, school and caregiving. His mother is battling an autoimmune disease and chronic arthritis, so he had to take over the role of head of household and primary caregiver, taking a job with the nonprofit Brotherhood Crusade to make ends meet. 

College costs are a constant challenge, and living at home means long commutes to the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona campus on public transportation—but his passion for using technology to solve problems won’t be diminished. 

Woodfine is focusing on biomedical engineering, hoping to create innovations that improve patient outcomes, enhance patient experiences, and reduce costs. After he graduates, his goal is to earn a Ph.D. and focus on nanoscale solutions for the treatment of lung, liver, kidney and other diseases.

“At a time when some students question whether getting a college education is worth the high cost, others are committed to overcoming those challenges. Our Dream Award scholars represent those remarkable students who persevere despite the hardships in their lives,” said Mike Nylund, president and CEO of Scholarship America. “They’re determined to meet their education and career goals and we’re committed to helping them attain those goals.”

Since the Dream Award began in 2014, more than $3.2 million in scholarships have been awarded to 150 students. The hardships that Dream Award scholars have overcome include personal and family illnesses, poverty, neglect, learning disabilities and homelessness. Seventy percent of recipients are the first in their families to attend college; 80 percent have contributed financially to their families’ income; and nearly one-third have served as caregivers while enrolled as students.

For two years, the Dreams to Success event to honor Dream Award students has been virtual, due to the pandemic. This year, the event returns to an in-person dinner, scholar stories and fundraiser on Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 pm EST, at the InterContinental—The Wharf in Washington D.C.

For details on viewing the event, visit scholarshipamerica.org/dreamstosuccess.

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