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Verrado High School Student wins $160k Scholarship for Short Film


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Verrado High School graduate wins scholarshipCongratulations to Verrado High School graduate Alejandra Castra-Castillo! Alejandra is attending the Santa Fe University of Art and Design after winning a $160,000 scholarship thanks to a short film she created and submitted to the Robert Redford Milagro Initiative Scholarship.

According to the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Castro-Castillo, 18, won the Unique Voice Scholarship that will cover her tuition for four years, room board and base fees. The scholarship is funded by the school, but Robert Redford hand-picked her as one of the two recipients of the generous scholarship. Thirteen other students were awarded $15,000 or $7,000 per year through the Emerging Artists Awards.

Recipients created a film demonstrating the voice of people around the world. Castro-Castillo’s two and a half minute film focuses on the emotional hardships of hardworking Hispanic women who are trapped in lower income positions to support themselves and their families in the United States. The film features the story of a teenage girl who cleans houses to make a living after she crossed the American border from Mexico. She has endured hardships and stereotypes all to pursue the American dream.

Candidates also submitted a film or an essay explaining why they want to become a Redford/Milagro Initiative Scholar with a portfolio.

Castro-Castillo just graduated from Verrado High School in May and she is heading to the Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design where she will study cinematography.

Information retrieved from azcentral.com and www.santafeuniversity.edu.