Karina Rivas, a Basalt High School graduate and current CMC student in Advanced ESL classes, recently was awarded a full-tuition scholarship at the University of Phoenix. The following story was originally published in the March 31 edition of the Aspen Times.

After escaping El Salvador violence, recent immigrant to Basalt earns scholarship. By Scott Condon

Photo of Karina Rivas, right. Photo: Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times

Karina Rivas, right, a 2015 graduate of Basalt High School, learns from teacher Leticia Ingram Wednesday that she received a full-tuition scholarship from the University of Phoenix. Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times

Basalt High School graduate Karina Rivas’ experience Wednesday was a shining example of how America remains the land of opportunity, especially for someone who works as hard as she does. Rivas was awarded a full-tuition scholarship at the University of Phoenix during a surprise student assembly at the high school. The scholarship will cover the expenses of pursuing her bachelor’s degree.

“I’m really happy. I don’t have the words to explain how I feel now,” a visibly stunned Rivas told about 250 students, teachers and administrators.

After the assembly, Rivas explained how the scholarship can help her achieve a goal. She recalled how she helped care for her ailing grandfather in El Salvador five years ago when she was 15 years old. She decided then she wanted to be a nurse.  Click for full article