Banco Popular Foundation recognized the academic achievements a group of outstanding young people who were awarded the Rafael Carrión Jr. Award for Academic Excellence during a virtual ceremony.
The initiative, which has been held for the past 16 years, has recognized 1,503 students and 21 teachers. This has translated into a $1.6 million investment in support in education, foundation officials said.
“This is a ceremony that fills me with joy because it’s about rewarding excellence. We know we’re going through difficult times, but today we’re here to celebrate your accomplishments, discipline, and effort,” Board of Trustees Chair Richard Carrión said.
“I’m an optimist by nature and that optimism is born of seeing a new generation, represented by you, with the desire to build a better Puerto Rico,” said Carrión.
The Rafael Carrión, Jr. Award for Academic Excellence recognizes the efforts of students who, upon completing their senior year in high school, have earned academic distinction. The winners were chosen with recommendations from the Puerto Rico and Latin America office of the College Board, using the University Admission and Assessment Test score as the selection criteria.
“If you’re here, it means that you stand out among your peers academically. But while we’re celebrating this event, this is not the time to rest,” said U.S. First Circuit Court Judge Juan R. Torruella.
“From now on, the calendar of successes is prospective. You’re winners of this recognition on your own merits and what happens from today will be crucial for your future,” said Torruella.
The Banco Popular Foundation also held the 29th edition of its scholarship awards for the children of Banco Popular’s employees and retirees. This year, more than 250 students received the scholarship that was established in 1992 with all the money that Rafael Carrión, Jr. accrued in his deferred compensation plan and in his savings from the cooperative.
“More than 1,700 students have received more than $6 million for the past 28 years, thanks to the vision of our founder Don Rafael Carrión, Jr.,” said Beatriz Polhamus, executive director of the Banco Popular Foundation.