Central High School Scholarship Winner Jose Santos Meets With RIDE Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green


The Surprise Award Ceremony – Jose Santos Learns Of His Award!

A Central High School Student, Jose Santos, was awarded a $40,000 Scholarship by BigFuture, a project of The College Board, in a surprise reveal that brought Students, Teachers, School Administrators & Elected Officials to their feet, in a moment that truly captured the holiday spirit.

In the interview above, Mr. Santos, somewhat stunned by the moment, describes his feelings & plans for the future.

From The Providence Public Schools

College Board announced on Monday that Central High School student Jose Santos has earned one of two monthly $40,000 scholarships through BigFuture, the College Board’s online guide that helps students plan for life after high school.


“For so many Rhode Island students, scholarships provide the financial relief they need to turn the dream of attending college into reality. We are thrilled Jose has earned the BigFuture scholarship, which will open doors to opportunity,” said Governor Dan McKee. “We wish Jose the best on the road ahead and thank him for serving as a shining example of a forward-thinking, future-ready Rhode Island scholar.”


Congratulations to Jose and the entire Central High School and Providence Public Schools community,” said Chair of the Council of Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. “This significant achievement is proof that when our students are provided with targeted support and resources, they will thrive. We share our gratitude with College Board for recognizing Jose’s commitment to his future.”


Powered by College Board, BigFuture simplifies the path to life after high school by recommending small steps that all students—no matter their high school—can take at just the right time to explore career interests, identify potential majors, find colleges and scholarships, and access financial aid. It rewards the effort students take by providing chances at scholarships.


“We know that for too many students in Providence, due to the rising costs of a college education, even the earliest steps of preparing for the college journey can feel overwhelming. That is why taking steps to plan for college is so important,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “I congratulate Jose for receiving this scholarship, and I thank College Board for creating opportunities like this one that make college feel more attainable for all students.”


“As school leaders, it is our duty to ensure all Providence students have not only the appropriate guidance, but also confidence, to take the right steps and prepare for their future upon graduation,” said Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. “We are tremendously proud of Jose and the effort he has put in to make his vision of success a reality. Thank you, Jose, for showing Providence students what is possible.”


“Nationwide, the rising cost of tuition has proven to be a major barrier for our students interested in pursuing higher education. We are deeply grateful to College Board for awarding this life-changing BigFuture scholarship to Jose,” said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We also want to take a moment to thank our Rhode Island school counselors, who have gone above and beyond ensuring our students have the skills, knowledge and resources they need as they move into their next chapter.”


State and district leaders and College Board representatives on Monday joined Central High School students, faculty and staff to surprise Jose with the scholarship news. 

“Now more than ever, students need simple and credible tools to help them choose the college and career that’s right for them,” said Tarlin Ray, College Board senior vice president of BigFuture. “We’ve integrated these scholarship steps into BigFuture so every student—no matter where they are on their journey to college—can take the steps Jose has taken to raise their hands and earn themselves a big future.”


Through February 2023, all class of 2023 students are still eligible to win $500 and $40,000 scholarships they can use at two- or four-year institutions. There are no essay, test score, citizenship status, family income, or minimum GPA requirements. Drawings for $500 and $40,000 are held every month. Students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year have extra chances at scholarships and earn double the entries for every drawing. The sooner students complete the following steps and the more steps they take, the more entries they’ll earn:

1. Build a College List: Students search for colleges and add 6 or more to their list.

2. Practice for the SAT: Students use Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy to get ready for test day.

3. Explore Scholarships: Students explore a list of scholarships personalized for them, based on their background, achievements, and future plans.

4. Strengthen Their College List: Students make sure their list has a mix of reach, match, and safety schools.

5. Complete the FAFSA: Students complete the free government form to apply for financial aid.

6. Apply to Colleges: Students apply to at least 2 colleges they want to attend.

This is the second $40,000 BigFuture scholarship awarded in Rhode Island. A Smithfield High School student received the scholarship in March 2022. College Board has dedicated $25 million to the program that lays out six simple steps all students can take to get to college. More than $14 million in scholarships have been awarded to more 15,000 students since the program launched in December 2018. Class of 2023 students—and soon class of 2024 and class of 2025 students—with College Board accounts in the United States and U.S. territories will be automatically entered into monthly drawings for $500 and $40,000 by completing specific steps on bigfuture.org

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