Montserrat: Overcoming First-Generation Obstacles

October 27, 2023

Montserrat is a recent recipient of a $1,000 Jose Madrigal Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and one of two Foundation scholarship recipients highlighted at the 2023 Community Celebration. Monty, as she is often called, has encountered many obstacles in her quest to become a Marriage and Family Counselor. She has faced poverty, homelessness, and a painful disability requiring several surgeries and rehabilitation.

“These scholarships mean a lot to me as they allowed me to create a home at ICC, where I have been persistent about making it to my graduation despite all the barriers that have come along.”  

Monty, ICC Student

While Monty was born in Wisconsin, her family is from Mexico, where many of them still live. Monty is a first-generation college student navigating life in the U.S. without the financial support of her family. In fact, despite Monty’s poverty-level income, she saves money to send to her family in Mexico.

She says that scholarships from the ICC Educational Foundation have given her access to an education she might not otherwise have, and have prevented her from becoming homeless, since she lives on campus.

Through all this turbulence, Monty has maintained a GPA above a 3.5, been actively involved in Phi Theta Kappa, and volunteered for charitable organizations. Her instructors shared their admiration for her dedication to academia.

One recommending Professor, Jen Richrath, stressed, “I can say with no hesitation that Monty has her priorities straight and has shown herself to be successful with whatever is thrown her way.” Deborah Fazio-Carroll, another recommending faculty member, said of Monty, “her commitment to her education, her responsibility, and her success in the coursework was remarkable.”

Monty expressed deep gratitude for the opportunities she’s been afforded here at ICC, “thank you for being part of this journey, and for your generous act of kindness.”