By Franklin College
Franklin College student Amy Garrido Portillo was honored with a “Realizing the Dream” scholarship from the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI). Garrido Portillo was one of 29 students in the state of Indiana to receive the award, given to sophomore students who attend one of the ICI member institutions.
Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to ICI, the “Realizing the Dream” program recognizes students from ICI campuses who are the first in their families to attend college. The program also pays tribute to the students’ families and their inspirational teachers.
Garrido Portillo was nominated for the award by Franklin College for her outstanding achievement during her freshman year. She serves as a student mentor, a member of the Art Club, FC Pride Alliance and Model UN. She was also inducted into Alpha Alpha Alpha, a national honor society which recognizes the achievements of first-generation college students, and she received the esteemed Laurels and Lancers Award, which recognizes two outstanding sophomore students for their first-year academic and campus community achievements.
The “Realizing the Dream” reception and awards dinner was held in late February at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. Along with recognition at the event, each honored student received a plaque and a $4,000 check to assist with college costs.
“When I think about what this scholarship will do for me, the words peace and balance come to mind,” said Garrido Portillo. “Seeing as though in the past year I’ve worked three jobs at once on top of extracurricular activities and classes, time management has become my best friend. But peace and balance are something I’m still struggling with because of having to work those jobs so this scholarship will ease my financial burden significantly and will help allow me to take a step back and just be a student.”
The “Realizing the Dream” program also provides a $1,000 professional development grant to the teacher who inspired the recipient to go to college. Garrido Portillo chose Mrs. Katie DeArmitt, from Center Grove High School, as her inspirational mentor.
“The teacher I’m honoring is my high school English teacher. She just helped me so much in the four years I spent with her. She pushed me out of my comfort zone and became a friend in the process.
“She made me feel safe and constantly reminded me of my worth and what value I had to give back to the world.”
At Franklin College, Garrido Portillo is majoring in political science with a pre-law focus. She is also minoring in Spanish.
“In simple terms, my dream is just to help people. Right now the ultimate goal is to become a lawyer with a concentration in immigration. Franklin College has allowed me to see various applications of helping people, whether it’s on a local sense of giving back to the local community or proposing solutions to world problems seen in various international classes I have taken,” said Garrido Portillo.
Garrido Portillo is the daughter of Rafael and Dulce Garrido of Greenwood.
“Not only am I a first generation college student, but I am also a first generation Mexican American,” she said. “The sacrifices and work my parents have put into getting me here are reflected in my resilience and in my work ethic and the tangibility of my passion in everything I do.”
ICI serves as the collective voice for excellence and choice in higher education for all students. As a nonprofit association, it represents Indiana’s 29 private, nonprofit, regionally-accredited colleges and universities.