Elizabeth Moro Named Semifinalist in National Coca-Cola Scholar Scholarship

Elizabeth Moro. Courtesy photo.

Elizabeth Moro, a Lexington High School senior, was recently named a Coca-Cola Scholar Semifinalist by the Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation.

Moro is one of 22 students in Nebraska to be named a Semifinalist for the Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarship. The prestigious achievement-based scholarship focuses on student grades and accomplishments, but not on their financial need or background. To qualify, high school seniors need to have a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale and list their school, community and leadership activities.

"When I found out that I was a semifinalist for the Coca Cola Scholarship, I was very excited and surprised. I never expected to get that far. It was a great feeling seeing my name as a Semifinalist from Nebraska," said Moro, who will graduate with a 3.74 GPA and has a long list of activities and accomplishments on her resume.

The Coca-Cola Scholar Scholarship awards a minimum of $20,000 per student to be used for tuition, lodging, and textbooks for up to a six-year period.

"I've been getting really good grades my senior year since I've been trying extra hard. The activities I've done during high school are Miss Voz Latina, which I was chosen as Miss Voz Latina 2013," said Moro, who also participates on the schools' soccer and softball teams. Outside of school, she volunteers for the Keep Lexington Beautiful recycling program and other volunteer programs. "If I could go back, I would've done more activities. Being active in high school is a great experience and it benefits you a lot."

Unfortunately, none of the Nebraska Semifinalists advanced to Finalist, but it is still an impressive accomplishment for Moro considering that only 2,000 students nationwide are named Semifinalists, and of those students only 250 advance to Finalist before being narrowed down to the 150 Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarship recipients.

The 17-year-old Lexington native is proud of being a Semifinalist, but she recognizes that she will have to find another way to pay for her college education. She does have big dreams for college and beyond.

"My goals after high school are to go on to a four-year university," said Moro. "My primary goal after college is to have a career that I enjoy, since I will be doing it for the rest of my life. I want it to be a good-paying career in order to have a home, car, and be able to live a comfortable life. I'm a very family-oriented person, so I wish to have one of my own. I also want to create a change in my community, and I'm hoping one day I will."

Moro's parents immigrated to Nebraska from Mexico. She said Mexican traditions are observed at home and Spanish is the dominant language; a detail that she is happy to share.

"We know where we came from, and we are very proud of that," she said.

When she reflects on how she could have advanced to a Coca-Cola Scholar, a few pieces of advice come to mind.

"I wish I would have asked for help and maybe I would've been Finalist," said Moro. "My advice for underclassmen would be to try hard since your freshman year. Everything you do counts and matters since then. Be active in school, participate in activities, and do as many things in high school as you can manage. Grades are important. They are not just a letter or a number; they will determine whether or not you earn a scholarship. Grades matter and students need to realize that we are lucky to have the education we have."

However, the soon-to-be-graduate's Coca-Cola scholarship experience is just another part of Moro's overall high school career, which leaves her with words of wisdom for entering freshman.

"High school has been a wonderful experience. I still remember coming as a freshman and thinking, 'Oh, my Lord'. I didn't know what to expect. Time flies and before you know it you will be walking out of the school with a diploma. I can't believe I'm a senior with only a few weeks left before graduation," said Moro, adding an acknowledgement to her success.

"I thank my parents for being there for me, they have been my greatest supporters, and they have taught me to value my education. Lexington is full of amazing faculty. My teachers have been very supportive."

Moro plans to attend the University of Kearney at Nebraska where she will major in either a business field or education field.

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