Maria Isabel Reyes Memorial Scholarship



YEAR 2020-2021



Provided by: The A. Ray Olpin University Union

Value: $2,500

Number of awards: 3

Application deadline: January 31, 2020 by 11:59pm (MST)


The purpose of the Union Scholarship Fund is to support the academic achievement of students representing a wide array of backgrounds and experiences; the students are currently attending or plan to attend the University of Utah. The fund promotes the retention and completion of students who demonstrate financial need and a commitment to the mission of the Union. Through this fund, the Union and its scholarship partners recognize students who are committed to bettering the communities they serve. 



M María Isabel Reyes was a Graduate Assistant in the Union Administration Office at the A. Ray Olpin University Union. As a first-generation Latina transfer student, María worked tirelessly to create an inclusive campus community. María tragically lost her life to cancer in August 2017; however, during her short time at the University of Utah her impact on the campus community and the Union was immense. María felt passionately about identifying best practices for supporting all underrepresented students in the Union. 


M The Union acknowledges and recognizes first generation students within our campus community for their dedication and commitment to creating an inclusive environment. The María Isabel Reyes Memorial Scholarship provides three (3) scholarship of $2,500 to assist a first generation student who shows a commitment to inclusivity, in accomplishing their academic goals. The purpose of this scholarship is to identify and recognize a first generation student whose commitment to creating an inclusive campus community has, or will, contribute to the culture, values, and overall mission of the Union. This includes students who are or will be associated with promoting diversity and inclusion within the Union and/or campus community.  These opportunities can include but are not limited to involvement with an office or event(s) in the Union. The Union Scholarship Committee defines first generation as a student who neither one of their parents or guardians as completed a four-year degree, and will be the first of one of the first in their family to graduate with said degree. 


The María Isabel Reyes Memorial Scholarship defines a commitment to inclusivity as the process of working collaboratively with community groups and individuals to address issues that impact the well-being of historically marginalized communities in an effort to provide equitable service(s). Previous recipients of the scholarship are welcome to apply, with preference given to new applicants/recipients. 


  • This scholarship is available to any student ( incoming or continuing) who identities as first generation who is or will be enrolled at the University of Utah.
  • Candidates must take a minimum of 12 undergraduate or 9 graduate credits at the University of Utah for the 2020 fall semester.
  • Candidates must hold a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and above from the University of Utah or prior institution, and a 2.5 for current high school students. 
  • This is a need based scholarship, as such all candidates’ financial need will be assessed. 
  • Students with or without DACA are eligible and welcome to apply.
  • Many students who are selected to receive a University scholarship after May 12, 2015, are required by state law to certify under penalty of perjury that they are eligible to receive the scholarship as a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country who is lawfully present within the United States. Students who have both graduated from a recognized Utah high school and who are awarded a scholarship funded by a private donor are not required to certify their lawful presence before receiving a privately funded scholarship. (This scholarship is a privately funded scholarship.)
    • Students who are required to certify their lawful presence in the United States must also be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for verification of their lawful presence within the United States. Once the University submits information to DHS for verification this federal agency may have the legal right to share information with other government agencies. If you do not know whether you are lawfully present within the United States you should seek the advice of an immigration attorney before accepting a University scholarship that requires certification and verification.



The recipients of the scholarship are expected to attend the annual Union Scholarship Celebration event during the evening of Thursday, April 2th 2020. The celebration promotes the scholarship on a community level and will be the time when recipients are publicly recognized and awarded.




Danielle Martinez

Graduate Assistant

University of Utah University Union

200 S. Central Campus Dr. Room 255

Salt Lake City, UT  84112 

(801) 581-4004

Supplemental Questions
  1. How did you hear about this scholarship opportunity?
  2. Please upload your current resume when submitting your application
  3. Please write an essay which concisely: 

    • Shares your own story of what it means for you to be a first-generation student and the reason why you believe you are qualified for this scholarship?
    • 500-word maximum

    Please write another essay which concisely: 

    • Describes your future or current intent to contribute to an inclusive campus community at the U including your current or future intent/steps to contribute to the culture, values, and mission of the Union and/or campus community in your role as a first-generation student. (Please be specific in your current or past roles)
    • 500-word maximum
  5. Applicants may choose to provide additional information that may not be reflected in their provided materials. Additional information may include family or financial hardship, or GPA misrepresentation.