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Jersey City, NJ- Hudson Catholic senior Arlette Huesca has earned a prestigious scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation. Over 97,000 students applied for the honor, and Huesca is one of 114 to earn the award. The award, which comes with a $20,000 scholarship to the school of Huesca’s choice, will be presented to her at a ceremony in Atlanta on April 4th. “It’s an honor, first of all,” says Huesca.  “It says a lot that they saw something special in me and I’m very grateful for that.”

A first-generation college student, Huesca already has college acceptances from local schools St. Peter’s University and Rutgers New Brunswick. Later this spring, she hopes to hear from University of Chicago, Wake Forest, and Bowdoin among others. During her four years at Hudson Catholic she has played soccer and rugby, ran track and been involved in a myriad of clubs and activities including Mock Trial, Model UN, Drama, Student Ambassadors, Yearbook, and the Commentator (student newspaper). In addition to all of those, she is a member of the leadership of a group of student community activists called Students Demand Action (SDA). Started as a response to the tragedy in Parkland Florida, the group has tackled issues related to gun violence and other issues in the community. For her part, Huesca says that having the right values has made her who she is today.

“I have been mentored by the best faculty and administration (at Hudson Catholic) and have been taught the core values of a well-rounded individual,” she says. “I get to be an athlete, I get to be a student, I get to be an activist in my community because I go to Hudson Catholic and because I have these core values that have helped me to go forward in my journey.”

Huesca was chosen after a lengthy application process that included submission of academic transcripts (she has a 3.9 GPA), writing an essay, and interviewing before a panel of judges via Skype. As part of the award, Huesca will go back to Atlanta attend the banquet to meet and mentor future scholarship winners. Her advice to future Hawks would be something she said as part of the interview process: be transparent. “I don’t do this for money. I don’t do this to be on the cover of magazines. I do this because I want to help my community. I do this because I want to create bonds with people.”

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