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More About the 2020 First Generation in College Scholarship

Sep 1, 2020, 10:00 AM by National Flute Association

By Nora Lee Garcia, First Generation in College Scholarship Coordinator

The NFA Diversity and Inclusion Committee is happy to share some additional information about the winners of the inaugural First Generation in College Scholarship. Judges Eileen Grycky, David Houston, and Catherine Ramirez evaluated 21 applicants of very high artistic profile.

A $2,000 scholarship was awarded to Gabriel Cruz Ruiz, who is a student of Alexa Still's at Oberlin Conservatory. Gabriel was born in Puerto Rico and is currently completing a double major degree in music and chemistry.

Thanks to the generosity of multiple donors, a second $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Fernando Perez, who will be a freshman student at Boise State University this fall under the guidance of Nicole Molumby. Fernando is a returning NFA High School Soloist Competition Finalist and participated in the virtual 2020 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America this summer. “Fernando is one one the most gifted and talented students I have had during probably sixty years of teaching,” said Karlin Coolidge, who has been his flute teacher all the way through high school.  
First generation students sort out many difficult situations in college, from navigating the college application process to paying tuition and fees and securing an instrument that can serve them through college. Gabriel plans to use the scholarship to upgrade a much needed flute. “Gaby has scholarships to attend Oberlin, but his flute is an old student-model flute. We are so grateful for the NFA scholarship and the scholarship's donors because now he'll be able to improve his equipment too!” said Gabriel’s teacher Alexa Still.

Besides the monetary awards, these students will be in good company this year. Iva Ugrčić, a member of the Career and Artistic Development Committee, will be mentoring these two talented young flutists throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. I invite you to meet these outstanding students at the First Generation in College interview at the Summer Series recorded on July 31. Recorded sessions are available through the Summer Series until September 25.