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First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude in having the privilege to be a 2009 Juventud Ecuatoriana scholarship recipient. Being born in Ecuador and raised in New York, I was overwhelmed and proud to know that there was an organization that awarded scholarships to Ecuadorian students.

The scholarship helped me with the financial obligations of my undergraduate senior year. I spent my last semester at the New York University Study Abroad Program in Paris. I was able to pay for my flight to Paris with the scholarship. Because of my scholarship, the completion of my second major of Romance Languages was made possible in the ideal city to improve my French. I was completely immersed in the French language by taking advanced French literature and culture courses, living with a French host family, and by simply absorbing Parisian culture while walking through the streets, cafés, and museums.

Thank you JUVE board members for bestowing me with the scholarship.

Maria Cruz