Jobany Quiterio, a senior at Taylorsville High School, was awarded $25,000 for college as part of Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program.

Representatives from Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company, along with Taylorsville High School officials, including school counselor Chad Farnes, who nominated Quiterio for the scholarship, Quiterio’s mother, and his classmates were all on hand for this morning’s surprise reveal.

Quiterio, 18, is an honors student at Taylorsville High School, where he maintains a 3.8 GPA, is student body president, and is active in Latinos in Action, a service-based leadership class in which he tutors elementary students and translates parent-teacher conferences for Spanish-speaking parents. He has also participated in bimonthly service projects with his church, including working at a local food bank and distributing material donations to needy individuals.

During his Latinos in Action class this morning, Quiterio was surprised with a large check from Sallie Mae and was joined by some special guests, including his mother, whom he views as one of his greatest role models.

“This is life changing — for me, for my family, and everyone who has supported me,” said Quiterio. “I am so excited to continue my education and am beyond thankful to my counselor, Chad, for nominating me for this scholarship, and to Sallie Mae for helping me take that next step to college.”

Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarships recognize inspiring high school juniors and seniors nationwide who excel in academics, athletics, community service, or school activities, but whose financial circumstances may not permit them to fulfill their college dreams. This year, Sallie Mae will award five $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarships to recipients selected from nominations submitted by high school counselors and community leaders from across the U.S.

“Jobany has faced many obstacles but he's persevered, and today he is an amazing leader at Taylorsville High School,” said Chad Farnes, the Taylorsville High School counselor who nominated him. “He’s intelligent, motivates others, and has the drive to be successful in college and beyond. I cannot be more proud of him for winning this scholarship and look forward to the many opportunities that await him.”

This is the second year of Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program. In addition to company contributions, Sallie Mae employees organized a host of fundraising events, raising nearly $53,000 to support the scholarship recipients.

“The Bridging the Dream Scholarship exemplifies, in name and intent, what Sallie Mae is all about, and we are proud to be a part of a community of school counselors, administrators, community organizations, and corporations that want to help young people reach their potential,” said Paul Thome, president, Sallie Mae Bank. “Jobany’s story of determination and passion for helping others is truly inspiring. We are thrilled to help him on his journey to college.”

Sallie Mae Bank, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City, is a wholly owned subsidiary of SLM Corporation, commonly known as Sallie Mae.

For more information about Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarships, visit SallieMae.com/BridgingTheDream, or join the conversation by using #BridgingTheDream.

For more information about saving, planning, and paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.