Teen first in family to go to college among recipients of full-ride scholarship in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston real estate legend is opening doors for high school students who never thought they would be able to go to college.

The Marvy Finger Family Scholarship Foundation awarded a record 65 scholarships to students in Houston ISD in an emotional ceremony at Delmar Stadium Field House.

"I'm basically the first person to go to college in my immediate family," said scholarship recipient Juan Velazquez, a senior at HISD's Houston Academy for International Studies. "It's really a passion of mine to work in the automotive industry. This is a full ride to any community college in the Houston area."

The scholarships will help students pursue a two-year degree or a certification program in vocational fields. Westbury High School graduate Michael Quimbao, who was awarded a Finger Family Foundation scholarship in 2014, returned to watch HISD graduates receive their scholarships.

"The scholarship allowed me to graduate from college and pursue my passion for the automotive industry," said Michael Quimbao, a past scholarship recipient. "I currently work at Tesla Motors as a lead service technician. I wouldn't have been able to receive this opportunity without Marvy Finger's Foundation."

Marvy Finger is a well-known name in Houston, serving as president and CEO of the Finger Companies for over 60 years. He first started his scholarship program in 2013.

"Over the years, I've given to lots of different charities, but wow," said Finger. "To be able to give some resources and allow these kids to have the opportunity to get this education, it makes me feel really wonderful. I get emotional."

"We help the student from the beginning of their college program until the end and we don't stop there," said Cruz Casiano, executive director of the Marvy Finger Family Scholarship Foundation. "We make sure that they find a job afterwards, because career placement is success."

ABC13 caught up with Marvy Finger in the video above to hear how his scholarship program is unlike any other.

For more information on the Marvy Finger Family Scholarship Foundation, click here.
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