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CENTRAL FALLS â€“ Cristina Robalo, a 19-year-old student at Central Falls High School, is the recipient of $1,000 scholarship award from Rhode Island Community Action Scholar (RICAS) Scholarships.
A senior at the high school, Robalo is a member of the Youth Success Program at Blackstone Valley Community Action Agency in Central Falls, a program that helps pregnant and parenting teens succeed.
â€śThe Youth Success program at Community Action provided me with many resources both inside and outside of school,â€ť says Robalo. â€śBeing a teen mother brings a variety of obstacles and difficulties. I chose to take those obstacles as a motivation to strive harder to achieve success and provide a better life for my son.â€ť
â€śCommunity Action gave me support to never give up on my education,â€ť Robalo added. â€śIt helped in showing me better ways in which I could educate myself and my son. It has definitely made a significant impact on my life and my sonâ€™s life.â€ť
RICAS awarded $1,000 scholarships to qualified high school students in eight Community Action Program locations. Students had to provide a written essay and a completed application.
Applicants had to meet certain criteria to receive a scholarship, including being a high school graduate with a 3.25 high school GPA, seeking continuing education at a junior college, college, trade school, or any higher learning program resulting in economic self-sufficiency or graduated from a GED program facilitated by the local community action program or agency.