Two Senn High School seniors have been named Cubs Scholars, each earning $20,000 scholarships for college.
Marcos Sandoval and Alexandra Alanis, both 17, were selected by Cubs Charities for the honor, which also includes a number of Cubs-related experiences.
The winners were chosen based on academics, financial need, as well as an essay each had to write. Each student was nominated by their school counselors, and Havilah Darnieder, a GEAR UP College & Career Coach who works with Senn students.
Sandoval, who plays baseball for Senn, said he heard about the program from Darnieder.
“She told me about Cubs Scholars, and just the name — just baseball, I love baseball. It’s part of my life,” he said.
Alanis was also encouraged to apply, but didn’t think she’d win.
“I didn’t have my hopes up for it because I knew it was very competitive,” she said.
The field of applicants was narrowed down to 14 who were interviewed, according to Alanis and Sandoval. From there, eight winners were selected, and notified in April.
“I was freaking out,” Sandoval said about getting the call. “I was stuttering, my heart was beating super fast, I hugged my dad, and I called my mom.”
Alanis said at first she didn’t believe the person on the phone.
“I thought I was going to get rejected at first, and then when they told me the news, I was very excited, but I was yelling at my brother to be quiet because I didn’t believe the person on my phone,” Alanis said.
Alanis and Sandoval said they’ve already attended many events with Cubs players and donors, including the Bricks and Ivy Ball May 9th at Navy Pier, and a signing event July 15th. They will be participating in an orientation next month.
“Aside from meeting the players, I think my favorite part was to go up to people and say thank you to them because they were the ones who donated the money,” Alanis said.