WHITTIER – Pioneer High School senior Idaly Iturralde loves to help others. Whether she is assisting elderly patients at PIH Health Whittier Hospital or comforting dogs and cats at the Downey Animal Care Center, Iturralde’s determination and compassion helps to lift the spirits of those around her while helping her relax after a stressful week.
Iturralde, a high-achieving scholar with a 4.2 GPA, has been recognized as a 2021 Dell Scholar by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, supporting her journey to becoming a first-generation college student. She will receive a $20,000 scholarship spread over four years, a laptop and access to Dell Scholars Connect, a mentoring program that offers support from other Dell Scholars.
“Receiving the Dell Scholarship has been unbelievable,” Iturralde said. “Beside receiving financial support, I know I will not be alone in this new stage of my life. Being guided through this new journey gives me confidence to accomplish the new goals I have set for myself. I want to thank my mom for always trying her best to help me and hope to make her proud in obtaining my degree.”
As a single working mom raising two children, Iturralde’s mother has played a prominent role in Idaly’s education over the years, making time to drive Iturralde to the library for tutoring services, even after a long shift at work. This work ethic has greatly informed Iturralde’s academic achievements and has helped to guide her post-secondary plans and career path.
Iturralde plans to major in public health, then apply for medical school. Her volunteer work at PIH has led her to focus on providing assistance to Hispanics, emphasizing healthy diets to prevent potentially life-threatening medical conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Iturralde’s proudest academic achievement is being selected to Pioneer’s Top 25 students during her sophomore and junior years. She has served as a tutor for the Pioneer Summer Math Academy, helped young children learn the alphabet as a preschool tutor, has written letters to children with disabilities, and volunteered as a poll worker for the 2020 election.
“My favorite moments at school have to be making new friends in class,” Iturralde said. “My friends are always there to pick me up and I am grateful for that. When we’ve had a difficult test day, they are the ones who bring the laughs out and reduce the stress.”
Iturralde is still considering which college to enroll in, and has narrowed her choices down to UC Berkeley or UC San Diego.
“I am so happy for Idaly and proud that she has been recognized as a Dell Scholar,” Pioneer Principal Lilia Bozigian said. “Idaly is a Titan leader and role model at school, and her volunteer spirit has brought joy to so many people. I wish her the best of luck in her career pursuits.”
040121_WUHSD_DELLSCHOLAR1: Pioneer High School senior Idaly Iturralde has been named a 2021 Dell Scholar by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and will receive a $20,000 scholarship to support her college and career goals.