Fil-Am student in Alaska earns more than $100,000 in scholarships
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Not only is Rafael Bitanga of Kodiak one of two winners from the state of Alaska and one of 13,000 applicants to earn the $10,000 Live Mas Scholarship from the Taco Bell Foundation, but he also has won a total of more than $100,000 in scholarships.
Bitanga is a Filipino American and a first-generation college student. His father has been working in the fishing industry for 30 years. He says this background is what makes him take his education seriously.
“My parents have selflessly traded comfort and rest for harsh physical labor to provide for my siblings and I,” he told KTUU. “Being a first-generation college student just gives me the opportunity to find my own direction, rather than follow what my parents have.”
The Live Mas Scholarship is not based on academic merit or athletic ability, but on a student’s unique passion. Bitanga has a full scholarship to Cornell University to study Hotel Administration and has earned a total of $108,000 in scholarships.