My name is Raquel Cortez and I am the daughter of Hector Cortez, a hardworking and dedicated member of OPCMIA Local 400 for 35 years. I am proud to say I am a 2021 graduate from Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, California. I graduated with honors and a cumulative GPA of 4.02. I was also an active member of the California Scholarship Federation Honor Society and a volunteer for the Bella Vista Jr. Broncos 8u cheer team. Along with juggling school and clubs, I was a four-year varsity cheerleader. In my sophomore year I had the great honor of being the varsity cheer captain and becoming an All American.

I am the 4th born child to attend a university as I pursue and obtain my bachelor’s degree. My parents have always taught us the value of working hard towards higher education, therefore my siblings are all college graduates in their respective fields. My family has been very supportive and a huge impact in my studies. I cannot wait to continue my education at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa to study in their nursing program.

I will forever be thankful for all the support I have from my loved ones around me. I am especially thankful for my parents, all the officers and members of the OPCMIA and the Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Fund! This scholarship will help me fulfill my dreams in hopes for a successful path in the future.

Thank you.