Fil-Am student in Alaska earns more than $100,000 in scholarships

/ 12:17 AM June 25, 2019

Kodiak student Rafael Bitanga has earned more than $100,000 in scholarship money and a full ride to Cornell University. WEBSITE

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.

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“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.”

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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.

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TAGS: college scholarships, Filipino American college scholar, higher education, Live Mas Scholarship, Rafael Bitanga, Taco Bell Foundation
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