Man's Fortune Helps Hispanic Students Attend College

By: Karen Campbell Email
By: Karen Campbell Email

College is something of which Stonewall Jackson High School senior Julieta Belmontez has always dreamed.

"My parents are really hard workers, but we knew we wouldn't have the money so I could go to college," comments Belmontez.

Her dream is now becoming reality because she was one of several recipients of a scholarship.

"Getting the $2,000 was an amazing experience for me," adds Belmontez.

The students were honored at a reception Wednesday at Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg.

"If I didn't have that scholarship, I wouldn't be able to attend JMU this year," says Luis Parada, a James Madison University student who received his second scholarship.

The scholarship was created in the memory of Samuel Bowman II, who spent his life in agriculture.

Bowman worked with numerous Hispanics throughout his life and was inspired by their work ethic.

He wrote in his will that he wanted to give a majority of his estate to help Hispanic students pay for college.

"He worked on his farm all his life, stayed local to the Melrose area and was a good citizen," says Richard Yancey, Bowman's accountant.

The Nunez twins are also grateful.

"He wanted to help people that don't have the means," says Sophia Nunez.

"He didn't know anybody that he was going to give the scholarship to, but he knew that those kids really need it and they will do something great with it," adds Noelia Nunez.

As for Belmontez, she wants to give back to her community.

"My dad has diabetic problems and my grandma was really sick. She had like six different diseases and one of them was cancer. She passed away and that made me want to become a nurse even more," explains Belmontez.

Students attending Blue Ridge Community College will be receiving a $2,000 award.

Students attending James Madison University were awarded $4,000.

Returning students were also awarded, as it was Bowman's hope that the scholarship would support students until they graduate college.


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