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Dwyer Seniors Receive Full Scholarships Through QuestBridge

Pedro Ennes to attend Swarthmore College, Bryan Diaz to Stanford University in Fall ‘23


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Elizabeth, N.J., February 6, 2023 – John E. Dwyer Technology Academy seniors Pedro Ennes and Bryan Diaz have been awarded full scholarships to prestigious postsecondary academic institutions through the 2022 QuestBridge National College Match, a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to 48 of the nation’s best colleges.


QuestBridge is a national nonprofit that connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading institutions of higher education and further life opportunities. By recruiting, developing, and motivating these students — beginning in high school through college to their early career — QuestBridge aims to help talented, low-income students attend the nation’s best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their respective careers and communities.


Ennes and Diaz were among 1,755 seniors of the Class of 2023 from throughout the nation who were recognized as Match Scholarship Recipients. The process included the selection of 5,613 finalists among more than 17,900 applicants to be considered for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship. Match Scholarship Recipients are admitted early to QuestBridge college partners with full four-year scholarships that are provided by colleges and universities, ensuring for these students and their families that an education at a top college can be affordable. This is the highest number of Match Scholarship Recipients to-date for QuestBridge.


“This record-breaking result further motivates us to help outstanding students obtain the top education that they deserve,” said Ana Rowena Mallari, Co-Founder and CEO of QuestBridge. “These bright and motivated students have a determination to succeed that will help them thrive well beyond their college years, and we’re excited to see where their dreams take them next.”


The Match Scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses.


Ennes was matched with Swarthmore College, where he will attend starting Fall 2023. Founded in 1869 in the small Pennsylvania town of the same name, Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college that was one of the earliest coeducational colleges in the United States. The 9.4% acceptance rate places Swarthmore on par with some of the most competitive schools in the United States such as Ivy League or Ivy plus universities. 


“I was at an afterschool meeting when I got an email from QuestBridge which I had been waiting on the whole day,” said Ennes. “I immediately got up to tell my friends around me and FaceTime my parents. I started shaking more and more after each click on my phone until I got to the letter.”


In a matter of seconds, Pedro received life-changing news, a reward for years of dedication to academic success and to being a prominent member of his school community.

“Once I opened the letter and saw the confetti falling on my screen and read the letters, ‘Congratulations, You Matched!’, I let out the loudest scream that had ever come out of my mouth,” said Ennes.


Pedro came to the United States from Brazil in February 2018 and began his high school career at John E. Dwyer Technology Academy in September of 2021.  He quickly rose to the top of the student ranks in the school through his focus and commitment to success. Ennes is currently President of the English National Honor Society, Vice-President of the National Math Honor Society, and a member of the National Honor Society and Student Government.  In Pedro’s spare time, he works at Make the Road New Jersey as a Fellow for the Student Success Center and a leader in the Youth Power Project.


His future plans include majoring in political science and minoring in international affairs as well as pursuing a career in politics, but for today, Ennes is filled with gratitude for the journey that has led him to Swarthmore College.


“It was an experience I’ll forever treasure in my heart knowing that it was my hard work and the support of those around me that helped me get to where I am,” said Ennes. “The little boy who came to the United States with his family in 2018 would be amazed to see how far he’s gotten.”


For Diaz, the day the matches were meant to be announced, he could not stop thinking about where his future lied.


“When Pedro opened his result, I was just all the more excited to see mine,” said Diaz. “My mother and best friend had been waiting for me at home, then as soon as I arrived, I opened the computer and began shaking.”


Diaz was matched with Stanford University, where he will begin his education in Fall 2023. Stanford University, founded in 1885, has become one of the most prominent educational institutions in the world and is one of the most selective universities in the nation with an acceptance rate of 4.3%.


“For a few seconds, the password I typed in seemed to not work, but when it did, I drove the mouse to the little blue link that said, “View Update” and began shedding tears before I opened it,” said Diaz. “Finally, when I did, I read, ‘Congratulations, You Matched!’ and squealed out to my mom and my best friend. I took my eyes back to the screen to find the college where I am meant to spend my next 4 years… Stanford University.”


Bryan came to the Unites States from Colombia in February 2020 and began his high school career at John E. Dwyer Technology Academy in March 2022.  Through hard work and determination, he also quickly became one of the highest ranked students in the school and is currently President of the Spanish and Portuguese Honor Society, Vice-President of the English National Honor Society and Science Honor Society, and a member of the National Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, and National Art Honor Society.  Diaz works at Make the Road New Jersey as a fellow for the Student Success Center and a leader in the Youth Power Project. 


Like Pedro, Bryan felt appreciation for those who helped him reach this special moment. His future plans include majoring in biology, minoring in mathematics, and pursuing a career as a research biologist.


“As a first generation, low income, queer Latinx, I am truly grateful of all the people that have had an influence in my life and have driven me to where I am now and where I will be, especially my mother and my grandmother,” said Diaz. “QuestBridge truly changed my life for the better and I cannot wait to begin my college journey.”


This year’s Match Scholarship Recipients come from 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. Since 2003, the QuestBridge National College Match has successfully connected over 12,000 students with full scholarships at college partners.


All Finalists who ultimately matriculate to QuestBridge college partners join the QuestBridge Scholars Network, which provides ongoing support and resources through nationwide opportunities and campus communities. QuestBridge also provides enriching programs for their Alumni, including the opportunity to apply for full-tuition scholarships to top business schools through the Graduate School Match: MBA.


“Pedro and Bryan are tremendous inspirations to our learning community, both having arrived in the United States within the past five years and achieved at such a high level that they have been accepted to attend two of the premier postsecondary academic institutions in the nation on full scholarships,” stated Elizabeth Public Schools Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer. “I have no doubt that their determination and commitment to excellence is going to lead to great success in their academic and career pursuits as well as their lives. As a community, we are so proud of their achievements and wish them well during the rest of their senior year and in all their future endeavors.”


“On behalf of the Elizabeth Board of Education, I would like to congratulate Pedro and Bryan for being awarded full scholarships to attend Stanford University and Swarthmore College,” said Elizabeth Board of Education President Iliana Chevres. “Their achievements in such a large immigrant city like Elizabeth brings so much hope to so many people. Our students continue to show our community that dreams can come true, obstacles can be overcome, and anything is possible.”