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NKU Freshman Wins Scholarship on Katie Couric Show

A Northern Kentucky University freshman was one of 12 students nationwide to receive a Scholarship America Dream Award during the ABC daytime talk show Katie, hosted by Katie Couric.

Luis Loza, a mechanical and manufacturing engineering technology major and graduate of Elliott County High School, will receive between $5,000 and $15,000 annually, growing by $1,000 each year until graduation. Financial need will be considered in determining specific award amounts.

Loza and his brother were adopted by their caretaker after their mother was forced to return to her home country, Mexico. Their caretaker researched options for the boys and found DACA, which allows a college education and employment for two years but restricts access to federal financial aid. As a result, Loza, who is two credits shy from being a sophomore, has worked many different jobs to help cover his tuition, including working as a hay stacker, tutor, painter, farm worker, house cleaner and yard worker.

“Thirty years from now, I would consider my life successful if I were able to support my family and provide a peaceful home life while having a profession that fulfills me,” he said.

The scholarship is funded from proceeds of Couric’s book The Best Advice I Ever Got. To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents or granted deferred action status under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals); have received a high school diploma or the equivalent from a U.S. school, by September 2014; have completed or expect to successfully complete a minimum of one full year of postsecondary education by June 2015; plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at the sophomore year level or higher at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical college in the United States for the entire 2015-16 academic year; have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and demonstrate financial need.

Other winners of the inaugural Dream Award include Lucy Tang (UC Berkeley), Charlene Hinton (Syracuse), Takashi Yanagi (Notre Dame), Hector Najarro (Georgia Tech), Sarah Ashcraft (Ball State), Mirrella Bautista (University of La Verne), Rodrigo Telles (UC Berkeley), Shelby Wilson (Mississippi State), Janelle Wiser (Findlay), Ryan Bosela (Pittsburgh Technical Institute), and Emelin Garcia Nieto (Columbia College).

From NKU

Photo: Luiz Loza, second from left on the front row, was one of 12 students nationwide to win a Scholarship America Dream Award on the ‘Katie’ show today. The Elliott County High School graduate is a freshman at Northern Kentucky University. (Photo courtesy Disney/ABC)